Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) finally has a voice to go with those 1 billion-plus faces.
As text and chat advances to entirely new levels of personalization, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been working to keep up with the new trend of developing voice capabilities with text messages and instant-chat sessions. The next step in that regard for Facebook is the launch of upgrades to its Messenger app for iOS and Android devices, which include free VoIP calls (only in Canada right now) and the ability to send brief voice messages to supplement texts.
Until now, the Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) Messenger app was used to send text messages, emoticons and/or photos to friends. With the upgrade, however, users can now utilize push-to-talk capabilities, and with a new "Record Voice" feature, users can send brief voice messages immediately to their friends.
Canada-based users of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) Messenger will see an additional feature. They will be able to make free voice calls over a Wi-Fi signal or utilize an existing data plan. Free voice calls has become a popular feature with many mobile devices, so Facebook is just the latest to join the crowd of providing mobile users with a bypass from their existing voice-minutes plans from their telecom carrier. Facebook is just the latest, along with Skype and Viber, to provide free call capability on a mobile device.
If there is an advantage for Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) over these other services, it is the breadth and depth of Facebook's user base. With more than 1 billion Facebook users, and most of them with the ability to have the Messenger app, there is a decent likelihood that Facebook users will be able to readily connect with their friends or others perhaps more than with Skype or another service, which does not have the social-networking capability. Is this making a ripple on the stock in market trading?