You are a newbie to Messenger and don’t know how to make free voice and video calls on Facebook? No worries, in this guide I will explain everything and in the end you will be able to call or video call your contacts.
Hi and welcome, I’m Frankie Caruso and today I would like to share with you everything I know about how to make a call on Facebook from your phone or computer.
Not only that, I’ll also tell you how to make group calls or how to add cool filters to video calls to make them more fun.
Luckily, making free internet calls with Facebook is easy whether it’s via the website and app, or the Facebook Portal device.
All you have to do is spend 5 minutes of your time and read this guide. I promise that I will only share with you useful and, of course, up-to-date 2022 information.
Just consider that it has been almost 10 years (it was 2013) since Facebook introduced calls via app or website.
Since then, huge advancements have been made and the call quality has improved so much that it looks like normal calls made through a phone line.
Also, one of the things I like most about voice and video calls on Facebook is that you don’t have to exchange numbers to use it.
I’ll share with you very briefly what you need in order to call or video call someone on Facebook:
- an active internet connection
- a Facebook or Messenger account
- make sure the person you’re contacting is on your friend’s list and you should be able to call them using Messenger
- your recipient is connected to the Internet
Okay, enough with the chitchat – let’s begin.
Making calls or video calls on Facebook is free, but you better be careful! If you are connected with your mobile phone’s data connection, you may overshoot your phone plan’s allowable data limit and be charged for the extra data traffic consumption. Make sure you have enough data traffic before calling your friend or family member through Facebook.
How to make a phone call on Facebook
Let’s get right into the meat of the guide.
I’ll show you to make Facebook call either from app on smartphone (iPhone or Android) or from computer via desktop app or browser.
The steps to follow are extremely easy.
To voice call one person on Facebook:
- Launch the Messenger app (you can do this on a computer via the official messenger.com website or desktop app, or via app on a smartphone)
- Open a conversation with the person you want to voice call
- Tap the phone icon and start a voice call
Instead, to make a group call on Facebook:
- Launch Messenger
- Click “note” icon
- Type the name of each person you want to include in the group
- Click the phone icon and start a group voice call
Easy, isn’t it? I told you so!
Now all you have to do is wait for your contact (or contacts) in case you were making a group call-to answer.
You can talk to your contacts for as long as you want. For there is no limit after which the call is cut off.
The only advice I would like to give you is that if you are going to have a very long call make sure your phone battery is charged enough. In fact unlike regular phone calls, calls through Facebook have a higher battery drain.
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.
How to make a video call on Facebook Messenger
Making a video call on Facebook is as easy as making a regular call.
The steps are roughly the same as seen above for making a call through Facebook, but there is a difference: select the camera icon instead of the phone icon.
No worries, I’ll show you everything in detail.
To video call one person or a group on Facebook:
- Launch your Messenger app. As always, you can either open it from a computer via the official messenger.com website or from the desktop app, or via app on a smartphone
- Open a conversation with the person or people you want to voice call
- Click the camera icon and start a video call
Unlike calls, video calls through Facebook come with high internet data and battery usage.
My tip is to make video calls when you are connected to a wifi network and have your cell phone or computer or tablet fully charged.
One of the coolest things you can do via video calls on Facebook is to create and join group video calls.
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.
Adding filters and effects in a video call
Now you know how to make 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.
Adding filters and effects to Facebook video calls is a feature that is available only on mobile apps. To date, you cannot use it on desktop (I hope it will be implemented in the future).
Requirements for Facebook Calling
I decided to include this chapter because I wanted to make sure you would not waste your time and make the same mistakes I have done in the past.
Once I spent about half an hour fiddling around with my phone trying to figure out why I couldn’t make calls through Facebook, only to find out that the Facebook app is not enabled to make calls 😅
I felt very dumb!
Both the Facebook mobile app and mobile website do not support audio or video calls.
However, what you need is access to the Facebook website from Chrome or Firefox browsers (on Safari it doesn’t work because it doesn’t support free VoIP calling) or the messaging app called Messenger.
Messenger works on PCs at Messenger.com, or you can download Messenger to your computer. Another way to use the voice or video calling feature of Facebook is to download the Messenger app to your phone or tablet. It is available for iOS and Android.
Is it a bit easier to understand now? I hope so.
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 voice chats with Facebook.
You cannot make a video call without a camera, nor are audio calls possible without a microphone.
Your device needs to have those pieces of hardware either built-in or plugged in externally to call another user.
Can I video call someone who doesn’t have Messenger?
Yes, as of 2020 Facebook has introduced a new feature called Rooms.
It’s 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 Rooms.
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.
Can I make international calls through Facebook?
Sure thing, you can make free international calls with Facebook Messenger.
As a matter of fact it doesn’t matter what part of the world the person you want to call is located, the important thing is that they must have an active internet connection.
Obviously mind your time zones hehehe. Once a friend of mine called me from Europe and here in America we were 6 hours behind and it was the middle of the night 😁
Do you recommend Facebook for holding business meetings?
Facebook is a great option for holding conference calls. However in my opinion there are better apps such as Zoom, Google Meet or Skype. Here you can find a list of the best apps to make video or conference calls.
I can’t make video calls on Facebook Messenger, why?
The reasons why you can’t make a video call on Facebook can be many.
The most common are:
- Poor internet signal. If you are connected via wifi try to get closer to your router. If you are using your mobile phone data plan, try moving in a different area
- Allow Messenger to access the microphone and camera. If you recently updated the app or installed it recently you may not have allowed the app to access the microphone or camera
- You have not installed the latest version of the app
- Messenger’s video call feature does not work in certain countries such as Cuba, North Korea and some others. Further on in this guide I show you how to work around this problem 😉
Does calling someone on Facebook make them active?
Calling someone on Facebook does not make that person active. In fact, to be Facebook active you have to log in to the app.
If you call someone on Messenger and they answer, then this will automatically make them active on Messenger because they’re using the app to speak to you. Even if they don’t visit the messenger app directly, it’ll automatically open once they answer the call which will make them active.
If they don’t answer your call and they don’t visit the messenger app when you call them, then they won’t become active on the app.
Can I convert a call to video call on Facebook?
To do so, you just click the camera icon during the call. It will automatically activate the camera on your cell phone (or pc) and the call will turn into a video call.
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.
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.)
Alright, as promised I shared with you everything I learned about calls and video calls on Facebook Messenger.
I hope you found the information useful 😁
Just a quick recap – you can make calls and video calls on Facebook to both individual users and groups of up to 50 people.
You must have an active data connection (wifi or mobile) and have the Messenger app installed (on a smartphone or pc) or using from the Facebook browser messenger.com
For more details, I would invite you to refer to Facebook’s help center.
Looking forward to seeing you on board!
PS – did you know that there are tons of different apps to call and video call someone for free? Here is the list of the best ones.