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...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Mobile Tech
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
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
January 17, 2013 2:45PM

    Bookmark and Share
"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:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Plans
2.   Asana Revamps Mobile App
3.   Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
4.   FTC Wants Fix for Mobile Cramming
5.   Facebook To Force Use of Messenger


advertisement
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Dell, BlackBerry Downplay Threat
Say Apple-IBM alliance can't hurt them.
Average Rating:
BlackBerry Acquires Secusmart
German security firm offers street cred.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
 
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

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.