Amidst all the hoopla around Vonage and AT&T skirmish, I almost forgot about this bit of news. Voiceglo, as the kids say, has hooked up with Friendster. Interesting deal: VoiceGlo will give Friendster members a free PC- and Web-based phone service to call their Friendster contacts long distance anytime, anywhere. Given the slowly and steadily decreasing user base, Friendster is happy to take any sort of a lifeline, and this is a pretty good one. Anyways, to launch the new phone, an historic, first ever Friendster VoIP call was made yesterday afternoon between Friendster Founder Jonathan Abrams and the Great-Grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, Edwin Grosvenor. (I have always found that progeny of great men do really stupid things, for dollars.. I am sure!)
The ‘Friendster Phone’ powered by GloPhone gives Friendster members a free, safe and easy way to communicate with each other over the phone in a more personal environment, without having to give out personal email addresses or cell phone numbers anymore. The free VoIP service, which will work on a peer-to-peer networking system, gives Friendster members a real U.S. working telephone number that they can access from any computer, anywhere in the world.
I think other social networks are going to “imitate” this move and partner with someone else for free phone calls etc. The sucky part is that, first I used to get stupid emails from LinkedIn and Tribe. Now I am going to be bombarded with phone calls. The ringing never stops. But in seriousness, I think this is a first real needle moving application of VoIP and despite the downsides, still a step forward.