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Facebook’s Messenger started out as an MSN-like instant-messaging service, but has since evolved into an all-singing, all-dancing service complete with its very own app. When it broke away from the official Facebook mobile app, some questioned the necessity of two separate entities, but as Zuck and his merry men have continued to pile on the features, it has become very clear that Messenger is worthy of its lone identity. Today, the popular app for iOS and Android have been updated with even more goodies, such as thee ability to send out voice messages, as well as call friends free of charge.

Every degree of our technological compass has been affected by the boom in smartphone and tablet adoption, and whereas instant messaging was once a pretty cut-and-dried affair consisting of text, images, and the occasional video or audio clip, we’re now at a stage whereby video and voice calling are also seen as a given. In that spirit, Facebook Messenger is quite the jack-of-all-trades, and when you consider its pre-existing abilities to group chat, send convenient messages, smilies, and even your location, there’s not really much missing.

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The real eye-opener of the release is noted in the change log as the feature allowing users to “Call friends for free right from Messenger.” Unfortunately, there’s a “but”, as demonstrated by the asterisk at the end of that particular note, which rather deflatingly adds that free calling uses your existing data plan. That particular feature will begin rolling out during the course of the next week, and would seem to tap into a Skype’s territory just a little.

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But I digress; You can grab Facebook Messenger 2.1 right now via the App Store or PlayStore link provided below. It is, as it always will be, absolutely free, and with an array of bug fixes also thrown into the mixer, there’s something to entice current users to bother with the update. It’s about 11MB in size, and requires you to be running iOS 4.3 or newer.

Keep one thing in mind though, the iOS iteration of Facebook Messenger supports VoIP calls but extremely limited to certain territories, the Android app however doesn’t have this feature but it’s being tested as we speak. Therefore, expect the feature to pop up some time soon in the future.

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(Source: Facebook Messenger on App Store and Play Store)

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