Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash
Deploy flash memory technology to
deliver peak workload performance.

Find out more>>
Mobile Tech
Is your endpoint data protected?
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Voice Calls Via Wi-Fi Sweeten Facebook Messenger App

Voice Calls Via Wi-Fi Sweeten Facebook Messenger App
By Adam Dickter

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

"This looks to me like the mobile equivalent of what a grocer would call a 'loss leader' -- something offered cheaply or freely in hopes that responding customers will stick around and buy full-priced items," said analyst Charles King. "By providing users the means to circumvent their mobile-phone plans, Facebook is setting itself up as an alternative."
 



A day after Facebook showcased a coming-soon feature that will allow users to more easily search their friends' likes, dislikes, recommendations or old photos, word is spreading about a new perk for iPhone users: Worry-free phone calls via Wi-Fi through Facebook Messenger.

Users of the messenger service, which rolled out for Apple's iOS in August 2011, were already able to send text and video messages, even to people without a Facebook account. The new update allows, with a tap on an "I" icon, calling to a person on your contact list that won't eat into your plan's minutes as long as your are connected to Wi-Fi.

'Alternative Communications Provider'

Facebook has long denied rumors that it would eventually roll out its own smartphone, a risky move that didn't initially go well for Google with its Nexus One. The company did partner with HTC in 2008 to sell the Status, with a built-in Facebook sharing button, via AT&T.

This move lets the growing social network, under pressure to boost its volatile stock price, take another bold step into the mobile world with no risk, while further entrenching its brand as daily communication rapidly shifts from desktops to small screens. At the same time, it lays the groundwork for future, more profitable services.

"This looks to me like the mobile equivalent of what a grocer would call a 'loss leader' -- something offered cheaply or freely in hopes that responding customers will stick around and buy full-priced items," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "In addition, by providing users the means to circumvent their mobile-phone plans, Facebook is setting itself up as an alternative communications service provider without bearing the pain of investing in or maintaining a wireless infrastructure."

Obviously, the feature is more appealing to those with limited calling plans.

The idea, King told us, is to bolster connection to the Messenger app -- over rivals like Apple's iChat, AOL's Instant Messenger or newcomer apps like Snapchat -- and increase access to related services and offerings. It's also a rival to Apple's FaceTime, which allows free video chatting from the iPhone via Wi-Fi.

Sweetening the Deal

"Adding a sweetener like free calling may indicate that the uptake of Messenger has been less robust than Facebook had hoped," King speculated. "In addition, the preferential treatment given to Apple -- since the service is only offered to iPhone users -- suggests there might be some behind-the-scenes tit-for-tat between the companies, but that's purely a supposition."

It remains to be seen, though, whether use of Facebook Messenger for calling will require users to share GPS data, which could then allow Facebook and Apple to target users with specially tailored, highly lucrative mobile advertisements.

Apple did not respond to an e-mail inquiry about Facebook's move in time for publication.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Screen Troubles Briefly Slow iPhone 6
2.   Bounty Offered for Oculus Rift Bugs
3.   Glass Adds Voice Access to Contacts
4.   Samsung, B&N Partner on Nook Tablet
5.   Acer Desktop Box Rides Chrome Wave


advertisement
HTC One M8 Windows Phone Unveiled
Can be POS device for small business.
Average Rating:
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Researchers Tout Battery Breakthrough
Lithium anode could triple capacity.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.