In the past few months, Mark Zuckerberg and his team have been working quite hard to beef up the Facebook Messenger app for Android and iOS with some handy features. What started as a rather simple, standalone mobile messaging app for avid Facebookers now qualifies as a handy SMS replacement that doesn’t even require a Facebook account to get configured. So far, the app’s content sharing capabilities revolved around text messages, images, emojis and locations. The latest update brings the added functionality of voice messaging to both Android and iOS variants; instant 1-minute audio messages that can be shared as part of a conversation. A Viber and Vonage-like VoIP calling service is also reported to be under experimentation for iOS users in Canada. The free internet calling facility is expected to be announced for other parts of the world soon.
Although not as convenient as a phone call, the voice message sharing option works remarkably swiftly and boasts pretty acceptable audio quality as well. Accessing and using the feature is quite simple. While on the messaging screen, hit the ‘+’ button in the bottom-left corner to bring up the box of supported sharing tools. You’ll notice a new ‘Record Voice’ option towards the right. Tapping this button takes you back to the messaging screen from where you can start sharing your 1-minute long voice clips with the selected recipient.
As the app will itself guide you, you’re required to hold the red button at the bottom for as long as you want to record your audio message. When you lift your finger off the button or the maximum allotted one-minute limit is reached, your message is shared instantly and automatically. Should you feel the need to cancel sharing a recording after it has started, simply slide your finger in any direction and release. To quit the voice messaging session, hit the Done button. This will take you back to the conventional text messaging interface.
Just like other Facebook Messenger notifications, you can deactivate or activate notifications for new voice messages from select contacts. Also, the app archives all voice clips you’ve shared with your contacts, and lets you listen to or delete them anytime you wish. The Facebook web app also lets you listen to all audio messages shared with or by you through Facebook Messenger, but it doesn’t seem to support creating new voice messages or deleting existing ones for now.