There was some debate here at JACK FM as to how we feel about this article we just saw on the Huffington Post. Here’s the deal: Facebook announced Wednesday that iPhone users of their Messenger app will now be able to use the app to call their friends via VoIP.
That’s Voice over Internet Protocol, or Voice over IP. *Blank stare from JACK FM listener* It’s voice calling over the internet, just like Skype.
“Big deal,” you say?
Did we mention the new service is being offered for free?
Let that sink in for a second.
*Again, blank stare from JACK FM listener*
Okay, obviously sinking in might take a little longer than we have the patience for. Here are some of the thoughts that should be running through your head:
- Aren’t 99.99% of my friends on Facebook?
- Don’t at least half, if not more, of those said friends have an iPhone?
- Don’t I have an iPhone?
- So that means I can call over half the people I know without using any of my minutes, in any place with WiFi, for free?
Are you starting to get it? This is a big deal, especially when you start asking these questions:
- When will this feature be available for Android and Windows based phones?
And most importantly,
- How do I change my cell phone plan to one that cost me considerable less money?
That should get your attention. Facebook has just launched an all out attack on all cell phone carriers. Why waste money a bloated cell phone plan when all you really need is an unlimited data plan, which most carriers already offer for a relatively cheap price?
Besides, let’s face it, most of what you use your phone for—texting, Facebook, email, surfing the web—requires only a data plan, meaning old cell phone plans are quickly become obsolete, especially now that 4g networks deliver data faster than most home internet connections.
Plus, since everyone you know is already on Facebook, that means you won’t have to deal with the hassle of waiting for your friends to download a new app, sign up, create a username, and join a new service. In other words, you’ll be able to call virtually everyone you know right from the get go, without any “inviting”, searching or waiting for them to get onboard. Because it’s Facebook, they’ll all already be there, waiting to hear your annoying shrill voice.
Which leads us back to our original question, how do we feel about this? Is this a brilliant maneuver by Facebook that will save you lots of money? Is this the death knell of traditional cell phone services? Is this Facebook’s attempt to take over the world? Will Facebook ever get rid of their stupid Timeline feature? Oh wait, that’s another story…
-Carlos Delgado, CBS Radio