Facebook Calling Guide

Making Free Voice and Video Calls with Facebook is Easy

Internet calling
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Facebook's desktop and mobile communication apps allow users to do free Facebook calling over the Internet, provided the caller knows how to do it and the recipient does, too.

Facebook calling simply means placing a voice call over the Internet. Facebook video calling means placing a phone call with video over the Internet.

Facebook voice call availability and methods vary based on multiple factors, including:

1. Whether you're using a desktop computer or mobile phone.

2. Whether you're using Android or iOS mobile operating system.

3. Whether you're using the standalone Facebook Messenger app or the regular Facebook social networking app or platform.

VOIP or Voice Calls Via Facebook Messenger

In January 2013, Facebook added free voice calling to its standalone Messenger app for the iPhone. The calls use VOIP, or voice over the Internet, meaning they go over the Internet via a WiFi connection or the user's cellular data plan. The voice calling feature in Facebook Messenger requires both parties to the phone call to have Facebook Messenger installed on their iPhone.

To make a Facebook call, users click on the person they want to call from their contact list in Messenger. Press the tiny "I" button at the top right of the screen to start the call, and then click the "free call" button that appears to connect.

Facebook also started offered free voice calls via the Messenger app to Android users in the United Kingdom a few months later, in March 2013.

In February 2013, Facebook added the same free VOIP-based voice calling feature to its regular Facebook mobile app on the iPhone. Basically, that means you don't have to install the separate Facebook Messenger app on your iPhone to make a free voice call.

You can do it from within the regular Facebook mobile app.

Video Calling on Facebook's Desktop Platform

Facebook has offered free video calling on its desktop platform since July 2011 thanks to a partnership with VOIP pioneer Skype. That feature allows Facebook users to call one another directly from within the Facebook chat area and activate a video connection so they can see each other while they talk.

The integration between Facebook's and Skype's software means that Facebook users do NOT have to download or install Skype to make video calls to their pals. Visit Facebook's video calling page to learn how.

All you really need to know is that there is a "start a video call" icon in the Facebook chat interface. You have to have your Facebook chat turned on, and the friend you want to call has to be logged into Facebook, too.

Then click on any friend's name in the chat interface, and then you'll see the "video Call" icon (It's a little movie camera) appear to the right of their name in a pop-up chat box. Clicking the small movie camera icon launches a video connection with your friend, which should activate your computer's webcam if it's configured in a standard way. However, the first time you click the "start a video call" button it will ask you to go through a relatively quick setup screen or two.

The Facebook app automatically finds and accesses your webcam, and you can't turn off the video from within the app. If you don't have a webcam, however, you can still make a call to a friend and see them via their webcam. They will be able to hear you but will not be able to see you, obviously.

Skype users can also place a Facebook-to-Facebook voice call to their Facebook pals from within the Skype interface.

Rival Mobile Messaging Apps

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