Facebook Tests Voice Chat, Could the Facebook Phone Run on VoIP?

Facebook has been spotted testing a new voice chat feature. There are few details at the time, but it appears users experiencing the test see a “Call” button next to options to Chat, Message, and Poke on the profiles of friends. When pressed, users see a “Calling [friend's name]” dialog pop up.

The Call feature could be a build out of Facebook’s partnership with Skype that brought the ability to browse the social network to the the Skype 5.0 for Windows VoIP app. However, no Skype branding appeared in test, so Facebook might be working on voice chat independently.

Facebook recently removed a job posting for a Network Engineer – Voice, meaning it has likely hired someone for the position. This employee could be helping develop the feature, or could simply be managing an internal phone system for Facebook offices.

Native web voice chat could pull business away from mobile operators, as users wouldn’t need to reach for their phones to call friends. The feature could also position Facebook to offer its own mobile handset that makes VoIP calls. COO Sheryl Sandberg has previously said “we want to make Facebook available everywhere on every device. That’s actually complicated in a world of so many cell phones, so many mobile operators.” If voice chat can be perfected on the web interface, it could eventually allow a Facebook phone to bypass the tangle of mobile operators.

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5 Responses to “Facebook Tests Voice Chat, Could the Facebook Phone Run on VoIP?”

  1. Facebook-puhelimesta vuotaa lisää yksityiskohtia – laitteen takana HTC? | Androidsuomi.fi says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/01/26/voice-chat-phone-voip/ Samankaltaisia uutisia:Piparia vanhoihin klassikoihin – HTC Hero ja HTC Touch Diamond [Video]HTC Legendin 2.2-päivitys jakoon huomennaElisa Studion älypuhelinpäivän satoaHTC julkisti ensimmäisen QWERTY-Androidinsa, Desire Z:n sekä Desire HD-älypuhelimenHTC Hero hullun halvalla! Tagit: Android, cloud, cloud computing, Facebook, facebook phone, farmville, HTC, pilvi, skype, voip Tämä artikkeli on julkaistu torstai, tammikuu 27th, 2011 kello 10:35 ja on lisätty kategorioihin Android, Puhelimet. Voit seurata tämän viestin kommentteja RSS 2.0 uutissyötteen kautta. Voit kommentoida, tai jättää paluuviitteen omalta sivustoltasi. Palvelimet ja Webhotellit Android-synkronoinnilla tarjoaa Planeetta Internet [...]

  2. Saket Jajodia says:

    Why they don’t roll out for everyone at once

  3. Josh Constine says:

    @Saket: They don’t roll features out for everyone at once because they want to test them with a small number of users and gather feedback and data.

  4. Tom Coburn says:

    yeah, but they need to assign beta testers for that kind of thing, not just give features to a set group at random. You should be able to volunteer to be a beta tester, or volunteer not to be one, they shouldn’t just pick people at random thats what bothers me about that concept

  5. Tom Coburn says:

    I mean, there are still some of us who don’t like facebooks new changes, and if they roll out new features to some of us that don’t want these new features, then that only pisses people off, because there are others that could want all the new features when the ones that don’t end up getting them, thats the problem with that concept

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