This article can help to show you the methods you have of making free voice and video calls through Facebook Messenger. You can achieve this through all of the typical operating system platforms including iPhone, Android, and your PC.
Hello! It is your dear friend Frankie here once again. This time I want to tell you about making calls on Facebook Messenger to a single person or part of a group call.
Facebook has allowed voice and video calling for free for some time now. It is similar to using FaceTime, Skype, or other messaging apps like WhatsApp (and more). This is thanks to VoIP calling.
The steps for using Facebook Messenger to make voice and video calls vary little between all of the different available devices, but I can explain through different paragraphs how it works for both computers and smartphones alike.
Let me first explain to you the requirements for calling with Facebook.
No more wasting time – let’s get to it!
Requirements for Facebook Calling
To make free calls through the global social media giant, you have to first have an account.
If you do not have one of these yet, you can register on Facebook through smartphones and tablets by using the app, or from your computer’s internet browser.
Because you have a working, active account, you are now ready to make audio and video calls on Facebook Messenger. You can call the users you have already added as your friends or different potential contacts.
You might also enjoy knowing that you can call from your smartphone on the go while using the Messenger app on these devices. It is not possible to call through Facebook without using Messenger.
From your computer, just login to Facebook through a browser that supports free VoIP calling. As of right now, both Chrome and Firefox support internet calls.
In either of the methods that you access Messenger to make these calls you need to have working internet access to either place or receive voice/video calls.
As you might expect, calls with Facebook are free but it could still cost you data. If you are using your smartphone away from Wi-Fi, your mobile connection will consume a hearty chunk of data for voice calling.
Now that you have an idea of what you need to do and have to make these calls, we can look at what you need to do to begin voicechats with Facebook.
Remember – calls with Facebook are entirely free. If you are using your phone’s mobile data connection, however, you are paying for the usage of this data to maintain the calls.
Making Free Calls Through Facebook Messenger on Phones and Tablets
Making calls from your mobile devices requires you to access Messenger. This Facebook-associated app allows you to communicate with other Facebook users anywhere in the world.
While many use this for messaging as the name suggests, there is a built-in video calling feature that users can try. This is like FaceTime through Facebook.
If Messenger has not yet gotten installed on your mobile device, you can take a quick peek at our tutorial on how you can get Facebook Messenger to all of your favorite devices.
Now that you have the app and you are logged in – here is what you need to do to make a call:
- Click to begin running the Messenger app
- Tap on ‘Chat’ in the lower menu (iPhone/iPad have this as a cloud icon) – this brings up a list of recent communications
- Choose your contact to call. On the new screen that opens, tap on the phone icon to begin a voice call. The camera icon there allows you to make a video call instead.
It is also possible to start from the Chat Screen and write the name of the person you wish to call in the search bar. Tap on the contact that appears to open a chat. You can then follow the same steps of tapping on the icons to make a voice or a video call.
If you are an Android user, you have the opetion of calling someone from your phone’s contact list.
To do this – click on ‘People’ in the lower menu and tap on the calendar icon on the top right. Choose a contact from the list that you want to call. Once a chat window popens, tap the phone icon to begin a call through Facebook.
You cannot make calls from your iOS or Android device without installing Messenger on your phone. There is no (simple) way around this.
How to Call for Free from Facebook Messenger for PC
If you would prefer to call from your PC, and have a computer running Windows 10, you can easily download the Messenger app from the Microsoft Store.
This allows you to make voice and video calls in the same way. You can contact virtually anyone who has a Facebook account.
Making a call on Messenger from your PC to a contact you’ve spoken to recently is simple.
Here are the steps:
- Launch Messenger
- From the main screen, view your recent chats
- Select the desired contact from this list of chats, and then click on the phone icon (voice calling) or the camera icon (video calling).
If you are looking to contact someone who you have not chatted with recently, here is what you do:
- Launch Messenger
- Click to search in the top left corner. Type the name of the contact you are trying to reach and click on the appropriate result, opening up a chat with this individual.
- Click the phone icon (for a voice call) or the camera icon (for a video call)
If you would prefer to use a browser installed to your computer, I would recommend those that support Facebook like Chrome and Firefox.
Calling from Messenger using Chrome or Firefox involves these steps:
- Launch a supported browser (Firefox or Chrome)
- Login to Facebook to access your account by entering your credentials.
- Click the cloud icon in the top right to check recent chats and select the one that you are interested in.
- If you are looking to contact someone not in your chat list, click the Messenger option on the left side bar and enter a name in the search field. In the Contacts section, you can click the individual you wish to call and complete this task.
- By clickin on the phone handset icon, you can make a voice call. Now all that’s left to do is wait for the recipient to answer.
It might come in handy to know that you can use multiple tools during a call. These are shown at the bottom of the screen.
These tools allow you to:
- Mute your microphone (microphone icon)
- Enable video (Camera icon) – Switches from voice to video calling
- Add group chat members (man icon)
Ending a call is equally as simple, you just choose the white phone icon with a red background. You can then choose to close the entire window.
You can make calls directly from your browser if you use Macs or Windows PCs. If your browser supports VoIP calling, you do not need to download other apps and software.
Video Conference Through Facebook – How to Start a Group Video Call
I have shown you now how you can do FaceTime on Facebook essentially, and to be fair, that process is pretty easy.
What if you want to host a conference call with your friends or colleagues, though?
This is also easy to do.
To make your first Facebook video conference call, here is what you do:
- Launch Messenger
- Hit the phone icon at the bottom left of the screen
- Tap a button that has three little men at the top (iOS) or on Start a Group Call (Android)
- Choose from the list that appears on the names of those that you want to involve in this video call. If you cannot see all of the party members, you can search for them directly.
You can add up to 6 people at once to a group video chat with Messenger.
You can have a maximum of 50 people listen and watch the primary conversation. They can interject with voice and text messages. If you cannot find the above commands, you have to create a group in the app to make group video calls work on Facebook Messenger.
Creating a group is also easy, it involves:
- Get to Messenger’s main screen
- Click on the groups tab on the top right
- Hit to Create Group (iOS) or the button featuring little men on the bottom right (Android)
- Select who you want in the group from your contact list
- Tap the camera button afterwards in the top right corner and EUREKA!
From this point, users invited to participate in the group call receive an informed message through the app. They can tap Join to participate.
Friends don’t have Messenger and you want to video call? You can use WhatsApp for a group video call as well. It has nearly all of the same features.
Answering a Group Video Call on Messenger
Since you are not the one making the video call, you might be on the receiving end of one of these group conversations. You get a notification directly through Messenger to participate.
Tapping the notification opens the group chat created through Facebook Messenger, and also indicates that a group video call is in progress.
To get in on this conversation, you just have to tap on Join.
It is really just the same steps that I indicated in the previous section with how your friends receive notification about your video calls.
Managing Facebook Video Calls
Once a call has started, you see your screen divided into the number of boxes relative to how many are engaged in the call.
Depending on what you need, you can choose to view a single video call session at one time by tapping on that display and pressing the icon shaped like square in the upper right corner.
From this point, all you need to do is choose various previews of video calls to select which of these is in your foreground.
Tapping the screen again and choosing that same square icon in the top right corner returns your screen to the traditional multiple contact display.
Other options include the selection of the camera that you wish to use. While it defaults to using your front camera during video chats, you can change this by tapping the circular button with a camera at the bottom to switch to the back.
You can also disable both your microphone and video (temporarily or for the entire call) by using the circular buttons representing a microphone or camera at the bottom of the screen.
Not sure who is all in the group chat and want to refresh your memory?
Tap on the display and press the little man icon in the top right. When you do this, you get a list of all the participants.
If you do not want to have the video call take up your entire screen, you can tap on the Messages (iOS) or Group Video Chat (Android).
You can return to full screen by tapping on the thumbnail for the video call on the display and choose Tap to Enlarge.
Adding Filters and Effects
Now you know how to make group video calls through Facebook Messenger, it is time to learn about the many filters and fun effects available.
These are very simple tools to use.
If you tap on the drop icon, you can apply cool filters to a video call in real-time. Tapping on the star allows you to add stickers and masks as you want.
In either of these cases, choose the icon and simply scroll through available options until you find the one that you like the best.
If you want, you can add reactions (similar to what you can add to Facebook posts) to the video conversation.
To do this, press the thumb up icon at the bottom and choose the reaction you want from the list.
Save/End Your Group Video Call
You can record the funniest moments by tapping the camera icon at the bottom of the screen during your video call.
You can decide to send the screenshot via chat, which puts it into the group conversation generated for the video call.
You can also just delete it with the airplane button and a red x on the screen.
Want to end the video call? Press the red handset icon shown by tapping your screen and you are done.
Since this is a group call, all participants must exit this way to fully stop the video conversation.
Making Group Calls Through Facebook on Your Computer
When you cannot make group video calls using Facebook Messenger because you do not have a mobile phone or tablet handy, you are not out of options.
If you are near your computer, it is possible to do it from a PC as well.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to the profile of the video chat recipient and plug in the Message button on their cover photo.
- In the chat window, look at the bttom of the screen for a ‘+’ symbol. Once you click on this you can type the names of friends or colleagues you wish to include. Click on Finish.
- Press the camera icon at the top of the chat window and wait for everyone else to confirm their invitation and join the conference call.
That that wasn’t so hard, right?
Once you have an active video call, as far as you managing it, the functions and commands are almost identical to what you have seen in other sections regarding video conversations through Messenger.
One of the only differences, for now, are the lack of filters, stickers, masks, reactions, and the possibility to save the video call for later reviewing.
Facebook just released Messenger Rooms: a group video call service that allows you to create a “virtual room” directly from Messenger or Facebook and invite anyone to join – even those without a Facebook account – through a link.
The Rooms have no time limit and to date can host up to 16 people. Do they seem few? Facebook has promised that in the future they can have up to 50 people.
Let me explain further how to create a Facebook Messenger Room.
Here’s how to create a Room from your smartphone:
- Open the Messenger app.
- Tap the People tab at the bottom right of the screen.
- Tap Create a Room, and select the people who you want to join.
- To share a room with people who don’t have a Facebook account, you can share the link with them. You can also share the room in your News Feed, Groups and Events.
You can join a room from your phone or computer – no need to download anything, according to Facebook.
If you care about privacy, I’ve got good news for you: the Rooms are 100% secure and the videocalls are protected by end-to-end encryption. Moreover, without the invitation of the person who created the Room, you cannot gain access to them.
Quick Note about Privacy
There is one that about your privacy that you should consider here.
In both voice and video calls between two people, your IP address gets shared with the other device to establish the connection.
Peer-to-peer connection, as its called, uses your IP address to directly link with another person. This improves both the audio and video quality during the conversation you are having.
Unfortunately, because this occurs, you are sharing your IP address directly with another individual.
Continuing on the subject of privacy, you might want to know that it is possible to delete your Messenger history from a device. This might not protect you online, but it could keep some nosy, prying eyes from getting into your business.
Protect your privacy with a VPN service (which I will talk about more below.) Take a good look at our guide devoted to enhancing your privacy on your phone.
Why Facebook Messenger is Banned in Specific Countries and How You Work Around That
Some governments, such as both China and the United Arab Emirates do not allow the use of certain online services and programs and directly block access to these sites.
More than anything it is fear that motivates these actions.
To them, these means of communication are a way to spread or create propaganda – which could destroy the corporate system and collapse the government.
More simply put, governments worry that sites like WhatsApp and Facebook provide the means of collusion to start a rebellion against authority.
There are internet restrictions like these in many parts of the world, including:
- North Korea
To make calls or video calls to or from these areas of the world you need a VPN service.
What is a VPN?
I’m glad you asked. Without getting overly technical, this is a service that allows you to appear somewhere else in the world than where you actually are.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say that you are in China. Before you can access your Facebook, you have to connect to an American VPN (or another country allowing access). Facebook will believe you are in America, and remove limitations imposed on the service by the Chinese government.
There are many of these services available.
Personally, I use NordVPN, as it is one of the best you can find to quickly unblock Facebook and other social media sites or websites.
You do not have to have a deep software background to use it, it is very user-friendly and intuitive.
Installing it is quite simple as well, if you are just getting your feet wet with VPNs.
A VPN not only allows you to unblock services like Facebook in restricted countries around the world, but it can help you to protect your identity and sensitive data. I use it all the time in my own country.
Again, it is time that we must part ways.
I have taught you everything that you need to know right now to begin making calls or group calls with Messenger.
As you have seen, calling through Facebook is not complicated at all no matter what device you could be using. The service is the same on Androids, iPhones, Macs, and PCs.
If you are calling from abroad, you likely are going to want to get a VPN. When you travel to places like China, Qatar, or UAE, apps like Messenger only allow you to send messages or might be blocked completely.
As I mentioned, you leave yourself vulnerable when you call another person with Messenger by sharing your IP address. The use of a VPN can protect you in this way as well by masking your true IP address.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to leave me a comment below and I will be sure to get back with you as soon as I can.
P.S. I should remind you that there are many other ways to make free online calls. I have listed them all in this guide. Have a look.