Look who’s calling me now
In this era of constant communication and unparalleled connectivity, millions if not billions of calls are made every day on mobile phones and people inadvertently have very little information about who’s calling them. Keen on solving this problem, Facebook has introduced a new app dubbed Facebook Hello which connects with Facebook to tell the user who’s calling even if the user doesn’t have the number saved in their phone.
How does the app work?
Built by messenger just for android, Facebook Hello App does work by combining information from Facebook with the contact information in one’s phone, making it easy for one to stay in touch with loved ones at all times. When someone calls your phone, the app will go ahead and show you their photo and name along with other useful information such as the job title, birthday and whether you have any mutual friends so as to help you decide on whether to pick up the call or ignore it all together. It is worth noting that for privacy reasons, you are only able to see information that people have already shared with you on Facebook. Apart from telling you who is calling, the app does allow the user to search for businesses and people then dial them up for free with just a single tap.
Is this the Facebook Phone Era?
It is an indisputable fact that Facebook has been eager to play in the mobile phone market space. Way back in 2013, Facebook tried a phone home screen takeover with Facebook Home. This was meant to put Facebook content on the home screen of user, this did not really take off but proved as a turning point for Facebook since they then opted on app experiences which started with their big rollout of Facebook Messenger to other smaller endeavors such as Facebook Riff, Facebook Rooms and Groups. These endeavors can only get much more pronounced as the years go by, signifying that Facebook is in this market space for the long haul.
What Features make the Facebook Hello App standout?
There are several very interesting features of the Facebook Hello app:
- Synced phone book
The synced phone book allows users to add profile pictures and other information to the contacts contained in the users address book. It does also provide some extra bits of information about friends which are shown as you scroll through contacts.
- Caller ID
Another feature is the hello caller ID, when any Hello user receives a call, Facebook will reference the phone number against its database.
- Voice over IP free call
One more interesting feature is the one tap voice over IP free call. It is worth noting that this only works if the caller has installed Facebook Messenger. This feature is bound to be a game-changer in developing countries where phone calls are expensive. As a matter of fact, Zuckerberg revealed that Messenger currently makes a whopping 10% of all global VOIP calls; no mean feat by any standard.
- Call blocking
Call blocking is also another feature that’s included with the Facebook Hello app, the app will inform you if an incoming call is emanating from a commonly blocked number, if many people have blocked the number, the app can prevent your phone from vibrating or ringing.
- Business search
Lastly, the app does have the business search feature which allows users to search for your Facebook contacts, friends, businesses and also anyone else. For calling purposes, the app does import information such as address, phone number and open hours into the information card about businesses and allows users to call the business with a single tap.
Does Facebook Hello protect your Privacy?
To protect the privacy of all its users, Facebook has implemented some opt out strategies. The best method is to go the “who can find me settings” on Facebook and then narrow down the number of people “who can look you up using the phone number you have provided” this does ensure that your photo and name won’t appear to any stranger who calls.
What are the Pros and Cons of the Facebook Hello App?
The app allows users to see who is calling even if the one hasn’t saved the phone number saved in his or her phone. It is also makes it easy to block unwanted calls as well as automatically blocks calls from numbers blocked by many people. It also allows users to open a Facebook page or profile with just one tap, call and text for free with messenger as well as call, add and edit contacts just like you can do on your phone. The app can also be used as an information resource such as finding a new restaurant or getting directions. One of the main drawbacks of the app though is the fact that the app is still for android use only and other mobile phone users running on a different operating system will not be able to use the app just yet.