Truphone today announced a unique softphone application built on Facebook Platform that enables Facebook users and their friends to call each other for free. Among the 'firsts' introduced by the Truphone 'Call Me' application is a moveable button that can be dropped anywhere on Facebook that accepts attachments, enabling users to:
- embed their 'Call Me' button within Facebook messages;
- post their 'Call Me' button onto their friends' walls;
- drop their 'Call Me' button onto Facebook group and discussion boards.
The Truphone 'Call Me' application is available to all Facebook users. Users do not need a Truphone account or a special phone in order to use the application.
- Facebook users adding the application choose the number on which they'd like to take inbound calls and get a Truphone 'Call Me' button on their profile. A different number may easily be selected at any time, from these options:
- Truphone mobile number
- US cellphone
- US landline
- Other landline (choice from 40 countries worldwide)
- Google Talk identity
- Grand Central number
- Any SIP phone
- Currently and until at least December 31st 2007, calls made using a Truphone 'Call Me' button to any of these numbers are free, in line with Truphone's present pricing.
- To make a call directly from their PC, any friend may simply click on the Call Me button and the Truphone application makes the call via a softphone embedded into Facebook. Truphone's 'click to call' approach differs from some other 'click to call back' ("bridging") applications which require both the caller and callee to add their numbers.
- A user's 'Call Me' Button can be set to only be visible to that user's friends. Actual phone numbers are not revealed.
- Facebook users may use the 'Call Me' Button on their friends' profiles for free for a limited period before they must install the application themselves. There is no cost or commitment.
- The Truphone 'Call Me' application is a regular Facebook application, so users can get it in the usual ways: - by clicking 'Add' when they see a Truphone 'Call Me' Button on a friend's profile - searching for Truphone in the application directory on Facebook.
- Facebook is a social utility that offers an efficient way for people to stay connected with their friends and the people around them. Facebook users communicate and share information through the social graph, the network of connections and relationships between people. With more than 54 million users, Facebook is the sixth most-trafficked website in the United States. Facebook recently launched Facebook Platform, a development platform that enables companies and engineers to integrate with Facebook and gain access to millions of users. More than 50 per cent of Facebook users return to the site each day, providing unparalleled distribution potential for applications and the opportunity to build a business that is highly relevant to people's lives.
Dean Elwood, platform director, Truphone, said:
- "A generation of people is emerging that doesn't use email. Instead, they use Facebook, messaging, and wall postings. Our view was that the Truphone Call Me application should remain true to the Facebook user experience, and to achieve that we've delivered an application with some truly progressive elements."
- "The Truphone Call Me application is completely embedded within the existing Facebook user experience. We never make a user leave Facebook or have to pick up another device such as a phone; instead, we've embedded a softphone into Facebook."
- "One particularly exciting thing is that anytime a new service that accepts attachments is introduced to Facebook, our application will work on it because the Truphone Call Me button can be dropped into any attachment. So people may use our application in ways that haven't been envisaged yet."
James Tagg, Truphone's chief executive officer, said:
- "By using Truphone VoIP, the Truphone 'Call Me' application delivers real, practical value and uses VoIP to bridge social media with regular telephony."
- "In the same way that messages on Facebook are always welcome because they are by definition always from friends, phone calls from friends are surely welcome too. We want to encourage people to talk to each other more and, using Truphone, we can help to get people talking again spontaneously and for free."
Truphone develops Internet Protocol-based (IP-based) mobile internet telephony, delivered by means of 3G mobile networks and Wi-Fi networks. The Truphone service enables free and low-cost calls for customers by routing calls via Wi-Fi and the Internet.
The service is presently in a 'beta' state and offers Voice-over-IP, SMS-over-IP and 'presence' capabilities. This beta service was announced in mid-2006, when Truphone became the first company to introduce true internet telephony for mass market mobile phones.
Truphone is the trading name of Software Cellular Network (SCN). SCN is privately owned, funded by both venture capital investment and angel investors.
Truphone is not a replacement for an ordinary telephone service and emergency calls cannot be made using Truphone. However Truphone does not prevent emergency calls being made via a handset's normal cellular service provider.
Truphone cannot advise on the legality of VoIP services in specific territories or jurisdictions. It is the user's responsibility to confirm that use of the Truphone VoIP software and service is permitted in the location in which they use it.