Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Launching A Numberless Social Calling Service

TechCrunch has reportedthat Facebook is getting into agreements with mobile carriers to provide a social calling service. Facebook has previously struck a deal with French carrier Orange. It appears that the mobile service provider will allow friends to place voice calls without having to know each other’s numbers.

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The service is supposed to allow users to place calls from mobile and desktop versions of Facebook, using connections on Facebook instead of having a phone number so as to allow calling. The service is supposed to support group calls as well.

The service will work on a new IP-based app, Libon of Orange that is already available on iOS. It is effectively a mobile Skype rival. The Facebook social calling service is slated to go live in France during summer next year. Orange can reach out across Europe, though it appears that the service will spread.

It is not yet clear exactly when Facebook plans on rolling out the feature internationally. It is also unclear as to how customers will react to the news while there is definitely a move towards voice calls placed online. The notion of Facebook contact calling at will seems maddening even when thought theoretically.

Shares of FB are up about 4%.

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