Facebook today has pushed an update to its stand-alone Facebook Messenger apps for iOS and Android. It’s not really a huge update in terms of new features. In fact, if you will check both the change logs of the app from either the App Store or Google Play store, you’ll only find two significant new features. These are the ability to send a quick voice message and call friends right from Messenger for free.
Now, let’s get down to the fine details of these two new features of Facebook Messenger app. The first one being the ability to send short voice messages. This is useful when you have more to say and typing them off becomes too tedious. So you can now just tap and hold the red record button which should appear when you’re composing a message after you’ve tapped the “+” icon, speak your message and a clickable sound wave icon will appear in-line, as part of the current Messenger conversation.
You can send up to a 1-minute voice message which is enough to convey more thoughts than what you can type especially when it’s close to impossible to type off your message. Good when you’re driving or both your hands are busy doing something else.
As for the ability to call your friends right within the app, this is being tested only for Canadian users for now. When it gets ironed out and rolled out to other users, it will allow you to place free voice calls to friends. This feature is also exclusive for iOS for now.
It will be interesting to find out how these two new features will suit up Facebook against Apple’s own Facetime app as well as other VoIP platforms with mobile app presence in both Android and iOS. The key here is that Facebook can leverage on its userbase to push this feature to success and eventually fare up against other mobile VoIP clients.