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TMCNet:  Facebook rolls out free calling for iPhone users in the U.S.

[January 17, 2013]

Facebook rolls out free calling for iPhone users in the U.S.

Jan 17, 2013 (Los Angeles Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Want to talk on your smartphone for free Facebook Inc. has you covered.

On Wednesday, the company started offering free voice calling in the U.S. through the Facebook Messenger app for iPhone.

Sorry Android and Windows phone users, but for now, the service is only available on the iPhone.

The Verge was the first to notice the new development, which a Facebook spokesperson told us is an extension of the VoIP in Messenger test the company started rolling out the first week of the year.

For now, the service is only available in the U.S. and Canada.

To see how it works, my colleague Sal and I tried it out here in the office. The sound was not perfect, and the first time we used it there was a slight delay each time one of us spoke. The connection was better the second time, but the sound was a little weird.

Sal described it as "fuzzy." I'd describe it as "tinny." To try it out the new feature, you'll need to first download the Facebook Messenger app on your phone. Open it up and tap the name of the person you want to call from your conversation list. Then hit the "i" button at the top right-hand side of your phone. There you'll find an option to make a free call if, and only if, the person you are trying to call is also using Messenger for iOS.

If the person you want to call is not on Messenger, then sorry Charlie, it's not going to work.

One final note: You will still have to pay for your data usage if you make a call over the 3G or 4G network, but if you are using Wi-Fi, the call is really free.

___ (c)2013 the Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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