There's a new mobile app on the iPhone and Android that lets users call their Facebook friends for free without needing to divulge their personal cell phone number. The app is powered by Vonage and even works on the iPod Touch, though iPod users cannot receive inbound calls through the app.
For Android and the iPhone, users can place calls over 3G or 4G data networks. It works by connecting Facebook users through the external app, so users can only use it to call other users who have also downloaded the app.
But there are notable advantages over just making a normal phone call. For example, users don't need to give out their mobile number since all the calls are powered through voice-over IP technology. Additionally, because of that, it doesn't use up any plan minutes.
Users will eventually have control over who can and cannot call them, but the main idea from Vonage's point of view is to get as many Facebook users connected as possible. As of now, there is no way to block users.
Vonage VP Michael Tempora rationalized the lack of user blocking by telling UK newspaper Guardian, "Certainly you always have ability to decline a call. Incoming calls will ring your phone and users still have the option to decline or accept."
"It's a paradigm changer for the consumer, and one that takes advantage of broadband networks. It's exciting for consumers and another step for us in using VoIP technology to deliver great value for consumers," added Tempora.