Until email came along, the answering machine was really the pre-eminent way to communicate with somebody without actually speaking to them. Getting fired, breaking up, explaining that you might just have given that one-night stand two years ago a feisty little microorganism, it’s useful for all sorts of things.
And now, thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it’s coming to Facebook, opening yet another front in the Internet Services Wars.
Currently being tested on, uh, by Canadian consumers, the VoIP is pretty aggressively a bid to ensnare Skype’s audience:
The company is testing the ability to make VoIP calls using its Messenger app. Those in Canada can start a call with a contact by tapping the “i” button in the top right corner and hit “Free Call.” Users will have to update the app to the version available today to use the feature and the voice call uses existing data plans.
The rest of us will have to settle for using the “Voice Recorder” feature, which is basically recording a voicemail and sending it to your friends. If you want to try it now, fire up Facebook Messenger, press the + button next to the text entry box, and be ready to discover how stable your thumbs are.
That’s because you have to keep your thumb on the button to record the message and then release it to send. Slide it off the button and instead you cancel the message. Allegedly. We did a few tests with it and discovered you were a bit likely to send an unfinished message.
But if you don’t want to dump somebody over text, yet don’t want to actually talk to them either, Facebook once again has you covered.
Zucks… if we ask nicely, can you maybe figure out a way to make the audio embeddable? You could find new lows in schadenfreude!