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Some VoIP applications ARE failing on Facebook!

Stuart Henshall surfaced a couple of links this morning showing that VoIP apps are failing on Facebook.  I'm not sure how iotum ended up on that list, since we're not actually a VoIP app, but you know Stuart's absolutely right and the outcome was predictable.  The vast majority of VoIP applications on Facebook are simple click-to-call minute stealers. The vast majority of Facebook users are in the US and Canada, where per minute calling costs are approaching an all-time low.  The majority of Facebook users are students — mobile phone users — as well.  In fact, 27% of Facebook users are users of Facebook mobile. So it's not really a surprise that minute stealers are having a tough time. In fact, I'll go further — anybody who believes that users will really fire up a PC and log into Facebook to make a call when you can just pick up the phone and call for pennies, is deluding themselves.

There are communications applications on Facebook, however, which are succeeding.  Value added applications, in particular, are carving out a niche.  These are the applications that the Voice 2.0 Manifesto predicted would be the successors to the minute stealers.  The conference calling and anonymous calling services, for instance.

Stuart's data was a little bit out of date, relying as it did on a month old post from The Latest Geek Stuff.  Here's an up to date list of current communications applications and usage on Facebook, from Appsoholic.


For what it's worth, our FREE Conference Calling application is hitting its stride as the viral effect kicks in.  We're currently adding over 2,500 new installations per day.  As of a few hours ago, we passed 20,000 installations.  And, we moved into the number three spot on this list today, passing SkypeMe.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • luca November 20, 2007, 11:01 am

    Great goal Alec, you guys deserve it.

  • Mark Goldberg November 20, 2007, 2:35 pm

    Your point on the "minute stealers" was bang-on. As I have written many times, innovative applications – like easy click through conferencing, presence-based intelligent communications – are potential winners.

    I cringe when I hear people say that they are investing in VoIP gear, or doing somersaults to save money. Save money compared to what?

  • PaulSweeney November 20, 2007, 3:13 pm


  • omfut November 20, 2007, 4:37 pm

    Hi Alec:
    I added iotum to the list as a voice application and not as a voip application. You are right; it doesn’t belong to the voip application list. Nevertheless, part of the reason I added iotum was because I felt this had a potential to be a niche app for group voice communication.
    I can see you guys are growing great. Keep up the great work.
    Wondering if you guys have any plans for OpenSocial. I guess conference is a great application for enterprise and business users. Should be a great fit for sites like LinkedIn

    Omfut http://www.latestgeeknews.blogspot.com/

  • Alec November 21, 2007, 3:43 am

    Omfut — OpenSocial is a great initiative and we're looking at it quite seriously. For now, our main focus is on getting our Facebook experience right before taking on a new platform. Stay tuned!

  • Henry August 31, 2010, 3:03 pm

    What happened to your facebook application? Can you tell me what went wrong and why you're no longer providing a VOIP product on Facebook? I do see that you still have a conference call application. What went wrong? How would you have done things differently? Please respond to this thread as I rarely check the e-mail provided. Thanks. Henry

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