Two new calling services for Facebook’s voice chat feature have been announced today by mobile network operators.
In the USA, T-Mobile has created a new brand called Bobsled and a PC-based application for Facebook. It enables any Facebook users to call their Facebook friends free from a PC and to send voice messages to their friends. The app uses technology from Vivox.
Customers can use the Bobsled application to place VoIP calls to their friends through Facebook chat with just one click. Recipients don’t need to use the Bobsled application.
Brad Duea, senior vice president of T-Mobile USA, said “T-Mobile’s focus is to innovate to provide simple and affordable communications for customers, enabling people to stay connected wherever they are. Bobsled by T-Mobile takes our communications services innovation to a whole new dimension, bringing simple and cost-effective connections to more than half a billion people overnight, allowing people on Facebook to more easily connect and giving voice to social networking. Our new Bobsled brand will evolve in the coming months to provide even more ways for people to connect, no matter what platform, device or mobile provider they are using.”
T-Mobile plans to add video chat and the ability to call US mobile and landline numbers to the Bobsled application in the future.
Here in the UK, virtual network giffgaff has created a free Facebook chat app for the iPhone. It’s called the giffgaff Social Phone and allows customers to make voice calls to their Facebook friends via Facebook chat. Calls are free for giffgaff members and are charged at a local rate for people on other networks.