Andy Abramson published a piece over the weekend offering some suggestions for FWD's new Facebook voicemail application. His comments are dead-on for all VoIP applications today, suggesting that integration with the customers existing services is critical to success, and I am sure that the FWD team must be already planning to do some of these. I was particularly pleased at the way that he highlighted the iotum FREE Conference Call application on Facebook as an example for others. We built it to work with any phone, to notify people of calls using a common and widely deployed technology (SMS), and to be a tightly integrated part of a popular portal.
One of our goals in building FREE Conference Call was to provide a great Facebook experience. Conference calling is one of those services that, increasingly, people are expecting to have as an integrated part of other services which they already use. We didn't want to download a Java client, or do something else that felt like a bolt-on to Facebook. We thought it was super important that the experience be as natural an experience as possible, within the Facebook metaphor. And it turns out that there are lots of Facebook experiences that we can exploit, so expect to see more Facebook integration in an upcoming release.
And, speaking of integration, one of the most requested features after we launched was for better calendar integration. On Friday, the dev team snuck a button labelled Export onto the call page. After you RSVP you can press that button, and an iCal calendar entry will be mailed to your email address. Invitees that aren't Facebook users receive the iCal request by email.