05 April 2014

MacStories: “Facebook Messenger 4.1 Adds Free WiFi Calls For All Users”

Free calls in Facebook Messenger can be initiated from the chat interface by tapping on a phone icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Once started, Facebook Messenger will start “ringing” another user’s device — because Messenger can’t always run in the background like Apple’s Phone app, however, the company is using standard push notifications to inform users that a call is being received. In the Facebook Messenger app, the call interface is reminiscent of Apple’s Phone app design for iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.1 with circular buttons for speaker, mute, and hide, and standard green and red targets to answer or end a call. Federico Viticci

Cool feature, although its use will probably be limited to calling friends abroad.

On the other hand… WhatsApp is planning to add the same feature in the coming months, so the overlap between ’s two messaging apps will grow. Is it a good strategic move to have two products so closely competing with each other? I would think not. It the two development teams are working separately on the same features, it would be a waste of resources at company level; it they’re working together, that goes against the promises that WhatsApp will remain independent…

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