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Summary:

[qi:090] The VoIP community, like so many others, got swept up in the Facebook platform euphoria. Not a day passed without some startup or another unveiling their Facebook application amid much fanfare. Well, the party is over, and it has become clear that VoIP apps have […]

[qi:090] The VoIP community, like so many others, got swept up in the Facebook platform euphoria. Not a day passed without some startup or another unveiling their Facebook application amid much fanfare. Well, the party is over, and it has become clear that VoIP apps have lost their voice on Facebook.

This was first noted by one of my readers on his blog; now Stuart Henshall, Alec Saunders and other VoIP bloggers have joined in pointing out the sorry state of VoIP on Facebook.

“The majority of Facebook users are students — mobile phone users — as well. In fact, 27% of Facebook users are users of Facebook mobile,” writes Saunders.

Given how easy mobile is, he wonders, who is going to take the trouble to fire up a PC and log onto Facebook just to make a call? Let’s extend this argument to all VoIP widget offerings — they don’t offer a vastly improved user experience when compared with the simplicity of the phone. Sure they save pennies per minute on international long distance calls, but even those costs are coming down quite sharply.

Actually the situation for VoIP apps on Facebook is pretty bleak.

We emailed Ryan Nitz, founder and CTO of Deft Labs and maker of AppHound, a Facebook apps analytical tool company, to help us get a better sense of what is going on with VoIP-related Facebook apps.

When Nitz ran queries using the keywords Skype and VoIP, AppHound found that the combined installs for all VoIP applications was 435,481, with 11,615 daily users. That’s about 2.7 percent. (See chart for the full breakdown.)

facebookvoipappstats.gif

Talk about a sore throat.

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  1. The only killer application for VoIP is in a integrated offering with Hosted CRM. That is the future of VoIP. There is no other business model that makes sense.
    Maybe a flavor of VoIP via WIMAX/Dual Mode has a shot outside accessing a computer.

  2. On Facebook, voip Has a Sore Throat – GigaOm · recursosvoip.com news Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    [...] Fuente original [...]

  3. Actually most apps on facebook are bleak, except for the vampire biting, movie quizs and stupid quotes…

  4. none of the top apps on our site are form facebook…

  5. Hey Mr. Malik!

    I’d actually rephrase this statement, “Actually the situation for VoIP apps on Facebook is pretty bleak” and say, “Actually the situation for VoIP is pretty bleak.”

    We have to make some long distance calls each month, and the price is so cheap, there’s really no need to do VoIP stuff, if you get my drift.

    Also, Facebook, as you said, have more young people, and so, why not just use cell phone to get in touch with friends? Or even better, just leave a comment or PM using any social network or just e-mail…

  6. hobnoblover,

    you are such a great editor. love the rephrasing.

    Anyway you are spot on.

  7. I disagree in part with where this is going.

    Your assumption is that VoIP apps. are just commodity replacements for existing PSTN services. What if the VoIP app is better and delivers a more compelling user experience?

    Facebook may or may not be the platform to capture the value of the VoIP apps.

  8. Markus Goebel’s Tech News Comments Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    VoIP is just great.

    It let’s me make free phone calls on my normal phone and my friends from all over the world can call me for the price of a local call – or for free. That’s especially great for my Peruvian buddies.

    Where else do I get that?

    Also I could dump my fixed line, which saves me even more money.

  9. I use mobile and worldline.ca

  10. Like hobnoblover, VoIP puzzles me. I use my computer to communicate to avoid talking on the phone- it’s easier to be asynchronous and efficient via emails, IMs, board/blog posts, etc. I save the phone for the precious moments when voice really matters- and at that point I want to be kicking back on the couch or leaning back in my office chair, not wired up to a laptop fiddling with software.

    If I did more international calling, the economics would be more alluring, but again… I usually default to asynchronous communication due to the time differences involved.

    And forget using Facebook to connect- there’s enough noise on that site- I wouldn’t have the mental bandwidth to separate the sincere communication from the SuperPokes. Then again, I’m ancient by FB standards, the SocNet equivalent of the curmudgeon at the bar reminiscing about the Brooklyn Dodgers…

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