Facebook’s next messaging move is all about voice. Today it released an update for its standalone Messenger for iOS and Android apps that lets users send up to one-minute voice messages. It’s also testing open source VoIP calling between Canadian iOS Messenger users that runs over a user’s existing data plan. Both power hands-free communication between friends, which helps drivers and reduces mobile typing.
The updates to the apps should be available in the app stores later today.
Most people hate voicemail so it may seem curious that Facebook is adding voice messaging to Messenger. Even with visual voice mail, many say they simply never listen to their cell phone’s answering machine. But most voicemail is just a longwinded way of saying “call me back.” Facebook sees a new opportunity in making voice messaging a seamless part of a conversation, not a replacement or a bridge to it.
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