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Facebook Launches Free-Calling Messenger App

When Facebook announced its acquisition of the popular messaging app Whatsapp for a jaw-dropping amount of $19 billion, it had given rise to speculation as to what would happen to the company’s existing messaging app. However, it seems that people had nothing to worry about as Facebook has introduced several new features in it. Only a week before, Facebook had added group management into its Messenger. In this application update, the social networking company had supercharged the group chatting feature. Before this update, users of the Messenger could message several people at the same time, but could not use their unique identities for saving them in groups.

But, it seems that Facebook finally learned a lesson from its rivals and decided to add this feature. With this iOS and Android update, it is possible for users to create groups of people that they message on a frequent basis. Groups can be named, photos can be set and they can be kept in one place. With this new feature, more people can be added into a conversation even after it has begun. Others will be notified that a new member has been added and the new one will be able to read all previous messages. There is another update made by Facebook to its messenger, which allows people to use the app for making voice calls.

Calls will be free when they are made over a Wi-Fi network and even cellular data can be used for making calls, but it will be deducted from the data plan usage and may cost some money. A phone button has been added in the upper-right corner of a conversation with anyone, which has to be tapped by users for making a call. Users will be informed by the application when their call will make use of their cellular data and then connect them. Right now, the feature of conference calls in groups hasn’t been added to the application as yet.

This is major strike against the Skype division owned by Microsoft and other companies as well, which offer voice over IP calling on various mobile devices. In addition, it is also an indication of how Facebook is attempting to expand its appeal and reach. This news was announced by Facebook after leaked online images showed that VOIP calling was being added to Whatsapp. However, even though the Facebook has acquired Whatsapp, it is focusing on developing its own Messenger first.

Mobile voice calling seems to be getting highly crowded as both Apple and Google are providing their own solutions for enabling users to call their friends without needing to spend their phone minutes or even having their phone number. But, what’s interesting is that Facebook still has a partnership with Microsoft for offering video calling capabilities to its website’s desktop version, even though it has developed its own technology for providing the option of voice calling via Facebook messenger. The update is currently offered to Android and iOS phones with the Windows Phone version to be announced soon.