By Jon Swartz USA TODAY
April 19, 2011
Facebook's 500 million-plus customers are now able to make live voice calls via Facebook Chat across the world.
T-Mobile's new Bobsled service lets PC and Macintosh users make calls between Facebook pages, add voice to any Facebook Chat and leave voice messages and wall posts on Facebook.
"We're bringing a voice to social networking," says Brad Duea, senior vice president of T-Mobile USA. The service is fairly simple. No download or log-in is required. All of the calls are free. (Eventually, the service will be available to iPhone and iPad users.) T-Mobile may bring Bobsled to other social networks, Duea says.
"It's a good service for PC, but will be more valuable when it's available on mobile phones," says Yankee Group analyst Tole Hart, who has been briefed on Bobsled. "It should be pretty useful for Facebook's (more than 250 million) mobile users. And it fits T-Mobile's user demographic of young, heavy-duty data users."
Users interested in Bobsled need to go to www.letsbobsled.com. It's also available for free download from Facebook's application page.
Skype, the Internet-calling service most threatened by Bobsled, declined comment.