For some time now, Calliflower has had two versions – a premium conference calling and webinar service, and a free conference calling service. Today we added advertising to our free conference call service. Users of the free service will now see a banner add below the call participants, and a skyscraper to the right of the call.
So why did we do this? After all, Calliflower has had a free conference call service since first launching on Facebook in September of 2007. Well, our free service has been funded by a share of the long distance charges that users pay in order to access it. The carrier that bills you for that call gives some of the revenue that they receive from you to the carrier that hosts our bridge, and we get a percentage of that charge. It’s an efficient mechanism which is legally entrenched in the United States FCC settlement and tariff rules that ensures the everyone can afford to run a service like ours and get paid.
Except that the big guys – the AT&T‘s of the world — haven’t been paying their bills. Not just for a short period of time, either.
So we were faced with a choice. Close down the free service, or find another way to fund it. We’ve chosen to try advertising.
For business users who might not wish to have their users and customers look at advertising during the call, Calliflower Premium will remain ad free. And for the teleseminar leaders, church groups, non-profits and others who use Calliflower’s free conference call service today, we hope that the advertisements are discrete enough that they don’t interfere with your enjoyment and use of the service.
Naturally, we’ll be listening very carefully to all of your feedback, good and bad, on this move. Let us know your thoughts.