According to Forbes.com, Facebook accidentally leaked information about a new app they are working on called “Phone”. While hearing that Facebook is working on a phone isn’t all that surprising, Forbes is stating that the app is a native dialer that shows information about who is calling and automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers.
The reason why Facebook is creating a phone application is due to the fact that since 2011 users have been able to make voice and video calls, but it required both users to be using the same Facebook feature, and it allowed users to only make calls over a data network or wifi.
The Forbes article argues that Facebook is actively trying to put itself in the middle between users and cellphone carrying companies. The only area where mobile carriers still have an advantage is in making voice calls. This step for Facebook (especially because the app will be called Phone) is marking their intention to eventually be part of the phone – calling experience that is currently controlled by major mobile carrying companies.
Many international carriers are seeing a huge loss in revenue due to popular apps like WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) that bypass the mobile carriers SMS fees. With over 700 Million users and growing WhatsApp will continue to move people from paid texting into free texting. Facebook wants to do this with phone calls as well.
While the giants liek Rogers, Telus and Bell wont’ be scared immediately by Facebook’s efforts, there is a whole and a want for cheaper calls. If most people are around a wifi hotspot, why pay for calls?
Also something to note, is that this is just a test and the app has not been announced in any formal way. There is a huge chance that users won’t even like the application. All in all it’s important to look at the fact that users are being charged an arm and a leg for cell phone service. At the end of the day, a large majority of people do not use their phone for actual phone calls, and primarily connect to wifi at home, at a restaurant or at the office, yet most of us pay $70- $100 a month for our phone… Crazy.