As of today the Talkatone iPad and iPhone apps now let you call your Facebook friends using VoIP over Wifi and 3G networks and let you receive free push notifications for Facebook Chat, which are actually quite useful if you’ve long turned off Facebook SMS notifications (as you should).
In order to use the Facebook calling features you need to download the Talkatone app, sign in using Facebook Connect and invite your friends to talk. The pretty annoying caveat is that whoever you’re calling also needs to download the app in order to partake. Your simple request for a phone call posts the Talkatone invite to their wall with the message, “XXXX, I am calling you on Facebook from Talkatone. You can get it on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, and call me back for free.” It’s incredibly spammy, which is I guess the price you pay for free phone calls.
While services like Jajah and Skype also lets you make voice calls over Facebook, creator Danis Dayanov tells me that what sets Talkatone apart is that Talkatone does not use cell minutes and instead relies on your data plan, only allowing people to call when they have Wifi or 3G. “In my ideal world phone numbers and cellular minutes will be obsolete,” he says.
Dayanov also tells me that the service now has 1.2 million downloads and around 150K+ daily active users. The new Facebook empowered app, which hasn’t received any press, is currently at #11 in Social Networking iPad apps. Dayanov plans on tackling video calling next.