Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Iotum facebook conference app, what happened to talk-now

Why did Iotum choose conference feature for facebook rather than the talk-now application. I guess it could be partly because of time to market and faster user adoption. I always felt companies providing voice services should also look at supporting social networking communication. From a social community standpoint, group voice/message communication is a killer app. Well, it’s a great start for iotum. Not sure about the revenue model here. My guess is, iotum might make money from inter carrier charges, which is most popular with all the free conference companies. Looks like iotum wants to make their presence felt in the social community, and at the same time work on future apps that can leverage on the user base created by conference app. Though, I’m wondering what’s the story with talk-now. That’s a pretty cool application. I guess lot of companies providing free conferences are eventually going to jump the bandwagon to support free conference. Having said that, iotum can differentiate themselves by providing the talk-now application and an interface to the conference application from the handset client. (How about scheduling the conference from the handset). Not sure if they can push the contact information to the handset. I remember facebook has lot of restriction when it comes to sharing contacts with third party apps.
Here is a summary of this app by Alec Sanders, CEO of iotum.

1. It's tightly integrated with Facebook. Using it is a natural extension of the Facebook experience people are already comfortable with. We intentionally modeled our application on the Facebook events application… our events simply take place on a phone call instead.
2. How many times have you scrambled looking for the PIN number for a conference call? Well, we don't use PIN numbers. Your mobile phone number is your identifier. Everyone can remember that.
3. How about remembering the bridge number? It's usually stuck in a mail message or calendar reminder somewhere. Not with iotum FREE Conference Calling. It's in the text message reminder we send you a few minutes before the call, so you don't have to look for it.
4. Isn't it a pain waiting on a bridge for others to show up? iotum FREE Conference Calling shows you who has RSVP'd, and who is on the bridge. It's a live application element within the Facebook app itself.
5. Most conferencing systems today are for private scheduled calls. iotum FREE Conference Calls can be both public and private. If you make a call public, it shows up in your newsfeed, as well as allowing anyone to join. We hope public calls will be popular with podcasters, musicians, and others who are trying to cultivate an audience.
6. For North American users, the calls are free. You call our bridge in the 218 area code, and pay only the charges you would normally pay, whether that's airtime on your cellular phone, or long distance on your land line.

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