Facebook Calling Guide

Making free internet calls with Facebook is easy

Facebook lets you make free video and audio calls from their website and app, or the Facebook Portal device. This means you can make free internet calls with your Facebook friends no matter where you're at.

When you make a VoIP Facebook call from your mobile device, you're using your device's mobile data plan, so it doesn't count against the voice minutes you're limited to by your carrier. If you use Facebook calling over Wi-Fi, it doesn't even count against your data usage.

Making voice and video calls with Facebook is really easy since it works in nearly the same way no matter where you access Facebook — be it from your computer or your phone or tablet.

Internet calling
 Franek Strzeszewski/Getty Images

Facebook Calling Requirements

Technically, the Facebook mobile app and mobile website do not support audio or video calls. What you need is access to either Facebook's desktop website or their messaging app called Messenger.

Messenger works on computers at Messenger.com, or you can download Messenger to your computer. Another way to use the Facebook voice calling or video calling feature is to get the Messenger app on your phone or tablet; you can get it for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

The same app is used for both video calls and audio calls, so you don't need a separate Facebook app for each. To have a private video chat with someone over Facebook, use the same Messenger app that lets you make voice calls (accessible through the links above).

Not: Not all devices running the Messenger app can make video and voice calls. Some only support text messaging.

Obviously, 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 in order to successfully call another user.

Making Voice Calls on Facebook

To make a free phone call from Facebook.com, Messenger.com, or the Messenger app, just open a conversation with the recipient and click or tap the phone icon at the top of the message box.

While you're in a voice call on Facebook, you can click or tap the video button to request that the recipient enable video on their side. If they do, your audio call will be converted to a video call.

Tip: Facebook voice calls used to work in the Facebook app in 2013 but now you can only make an audio call with Facebook from your phone or tablet through their Messenger app.

Making Video Calls on Facebook

Starting a video call on Facebook is just as easy as making a phone call. Open a conversation with the recipient and click or tap the video camera to start the video call. This works anywhere you can access the calling features: Facebook.com, Messenger.com, and desktop and mobile Messenger apps.

During a Facebook video call, tap or click the video button to disable the video camera. This will convert the conversation to an audio call.

Help With Facebook Calls

Using Facebook's video and voice calling features requires that your computer or mobile device is set up correctly to accept such requests. Without these parameters in place, it's possible that you will not be able to talk or share your video with your Facebook friends.

If you're making a Facebook call from your computer, you have to make sure that your webcam and microphone are properly plugged in and working. If you're using your web browser for the Facebook call, pop-up blockers might interfere with the call, and unless you've enabled your browser to access your cam and mic, the other person will not be able to see or hear you.

For example, to make Facebook calls from Chrome, you have to allow camera and mic access so that Facebook is permitted to use your hardware during the call. Chrome also needs to allow pop-ups for Facebook and/or Messenger to ensure that calls can come through.

Another example where you need to set up proper permissions is if you're on an iPad while making a video call or voice call on Facebook. Open Settings > Messenger and enable both Microphone and Camera so that your friends can see and hear you during a call. Similar steps are necessary for Android and other mobile users.