Facebook Ventures Into VOIP Calls With “Hello App”
Phone calls from unknown numbers are annoying and sometimes scary too. Sometimes, we pick up phone calls which otherwise we wouldn’t if the caller had called from their usual number stored in our phone or blocked by us, it creates a sensitive situation and it is pretty awkward to handle such scenarios. Facebook, recently rolled out an app called “Hello” which works pretty much like TrueCaller and the resemblance with TrueCaller can also be seen evidently.
The New Facebook Phone
The app was rolled out in the US, Brazil and Nigeria for initial testing phase to Android users to see how it works. Facebook mentioned though that if the test goes well as per planned, more countries would soon be added to the list of these three countries, at the moment waiting for the Feedback from these countries. You can download the app, sign in with your Facebook account and give permissions to sync your contacts with Facebook and you can interact with calls. Later, you can decide whether to use Hello full time or just use it to surface information about future calls.
Features of Hello App
If your permit, the Hello App will add profile pictures and personal information to the contacts in your address book, which looks like an improved version of your smart phone’s address book because it has additional information about friends and followers inline and you can view them just by scrolling through the contacts.
When you receive a call, Facebook will check the phone number in their database. If the caller has kept “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” privacy setting to “Everyone” or something like “Friends of Friends”, you will get their name and profile picture when they call you. You can view other information added by them like work, school, birthday etc. which appears in a card like format when the phone is ringing and all you need to do is just swipe.
Free VOIP Calls on Hello App
When you end a call on Hello, another card will be displayed with information that shows if the caller has Messenger on his phone or not. Hence, you can tap on Voice Over IP for free calls. A very useful feature for countries where calls are usually expensive, example developing countries. The best thing is that when your friend calls you, you can call them back with VOIP for free. So, Hello is like a TrueCaller combined with Skype.
Since quite some time Facebook was trying to make a base to launch VOIP calling. This year, Mark Zuckerberg told that Messenger makes 10% of all global VOIP calls and Hello would work as a catalyst for VOIP growth. Stiff competition ahead for other VOIP vendors.
The call blocking feature is pretty smart. If your caller is someone who is blocked by many other people, then it will not vibrate/ring and send the call directly to your voicemail so that you are not bothered unnecessarily.
Why don’t you use the Hello app, as and when it is available in your country and mention in the comments how do you rate the app. Whether it is better than TrueCaller and Skype or not. Find for yourself.
Dhruvil is a Writer & Marketeer for Nimblechapps, joining December 2014, based out of Sydney, Australia. He has worked briefly as a Branding and Digital Marketing Manager before moving to Australia. At Nimblechapps, he worked on Social Media Marketing, Branding, Email Marketing and Blogging. Dhruvil studies Business at University of Western Sydney, and also handles Operations for the company in Australia.