Facebook Messenger wants to replace the telephone, not just SMS, and it’s on its way. Messenger now makes up 10% of global mobile Voice Over IP calls, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during today’s Q1 2015 earnings call. And Zuckerberg said that because mobile VOIP can actually provide higher audio quality for calls than traditional phone calls, he expects that growth “is going to continue very quickly.”
Considering Facebook only fully rolled out free mobile VOIP calling to Messenger last April, it’s impressive that it’s already becoming a legitimate competitor to apps like Skype. And just yesterday it began rolling out free VOIP calls to WhatsApp on iOS after bringing the feature to Android last month.
Zuckerberg reiterated that Messenger and WhatsApp will not be integrated. Still, he says “one our theories is that you need a large established network of people who will be able to receive the calls” for VOIP calling to become popular.
With 600 million Messenger users and 800 million WhatsApp users, he thinks they’re both finally hitting that critical mass. And just today, Facebook released its caller ID app Hello that lets you easily ignore normal phone calls and then Messenger VOIP the person right back for free, which could further boost usage of the feature.