Facebook’s Voice Chat: Not Ready for Prime Time
Now that Facebook has created a transformative niche in the world, and yes, even played a part in changing the history of nations, they’re looking for new ways to be in our lives.
To this end, it seems that they’re in “catch up mode” with innovative companies like Skype and GroupOn.
Recently, software provider Bobsled and T-Mobile launched a voice chat service (VOIP) on Facebook that was designed to convert quick-fingered chatting via text to actual conversations by voice on the chat channel.
Being an early adopter, I immediately downloaded their software into my computer (it’s not yet available on smartphones or tablets), and got a friend to do the same.
After repeated emails back and forth to confirm that we were each configured properly, and reloaded the software more than once, I was able to actually talk with my friend via Facebook.
This would be amazing and innovative but for the fact there were about 2 man hours involved in setting it up to work, and when it did, we each had an echo on our lines and a lot of static. And guess what? It’s not like there wasn’t a telephone or cell phone anywhere near either of us. I could have just as easily dialed my friend’s phone number and merrily talked away the hours instead of fiddling with software that didn’t work properly. And I won’t even go into the details of the “voice mail” on Facebook; clearly it was not working properly.
It seems that there have been enough complaints, mine included, that Bobsled’s app and the T-Mobile service has been removed from Facebook chat under the guise that it wasn’t properly authorized by Facebook.
T-Mobile’s Facebook statement reads: “"We are voluntarily and temporarily suspending the Bobsled service as we work with our partners at Facebook to address their design questions, including working to ensure that the Bobsled experience is clearly differentiated and is not mistaken for a Facebook created property. We apologize to our customers for this temporary disruption in service."
Enough said, at least without using a telephone.