This is probably FaceBook’s answer to get more involved in the mobile platforms by getting more and more people to use its apps. That is actually a better strategy than to create its own platform involving an operating system, hardware, support and what not just to keep people in its ecosystem.
If you use Facebook Messenger, you will get a nice surprise when you update to version 2.3 of the popular messenger client on your android device. With this update, it is possible for the users in Canada to make calls over VOIP to their friends in Canada as well as in the United States.
Ever since the Messenger featured the voice messages, it was expected that the next step would be calling within the app. That feature is now available for users in Canada whereas previously it was available only in the United States though an iOS update in January (version5.5). This was probably meant to be a silent release as the change log of the new version does not mention this feature, but rather says “other improvements and bug fixes” in its Play Store page.
Now users can call other Android users as well as iOS users for free and can be used over both WiFi and mobile data connection. Apart from the calling feature, the new version also has some UI changes like better button to like, comment and share posts in the news feed.
As more and more phones and platforms (MS-Skype, Google-Voice, etc) get to using mobile data connections to facilitate VOIP, we are going to render mobile carriers obsolete sometime down the line. It will be interesting to see how they try to become more relevant.
This is probably going to be a instant hit when Facebook gets to launching in countries like Brazil, India, Singapore etc, where the majority of connections are on pre-paid minute basis. The Messenger app from Facebook can easily reduce the number of minutes a user needs to buy and using just his/her data connection to connect with friends through message, call, and group interactions for free beyond data usage.