I’ve never been more excited to be working at the forefront of mobile and social convergence than right now. With every week that passes, my work gets more and more interesting. I’m particularly excited about what’s happening today, as my newest client, Telesocial, launches their social to mobile calling solution – the world’s only free API for initiating mobile calls combined with a secure social to mobile cloud directory. This is one of the coolest innovations in mobile and social convergence, and I’m not just saying that because Telesocial is my client…Telesocial’s platform is an industry first, and it is great for users, developers, and mobile operators.
Telesocial’s new platform enables developers to add mobile voice calls, messages, and conferencing features into applications enables users can communicate with each other over mobile voice networks, without exchanging phone numbers:
“Telesocial’s API, combined with an inter-operator cloud directory, allows web users to click-to-call directly to a mobile phone from within a social game or app, without having to know the receivers’ phone number. Telesocial’s API is transforming the social web into an integrated directory and perhaps the ultimate phone book.”
Imagine playing social games online and interacting with your in-game friends voice to voice, without the pressure of sharing your mobile phone number… Imagine screening potential dates on a dating site voice to voice without giving up your phone number… Imagine being able to initiate a mobile to mobile group phone call with all of your Fantasy Football friends during the game, by just clicking a web link in your SMS or email… Imagine seamless mobile-to-mobile calling between Facebook Friends and Fans and Twitter Followers, all without exchanging numbers… All this and more can be made possible through Telesocial’s platform.
Telesocial makes it possible to initiate mobile-to-mobile calls inside of an app, without sharing your phone number, so you can communicate safely and securely. Developers have the option to notify users of a phone conversation by ringing their mobile, sending them a link via sms or email, or by providing an in-app notification. Additionally, Telesocial provides data on the API usage, giving developers the ability to directly measure the impact, click by click.
“The Telesocial API allows developers to add innovative voice functionalities to their games and applications,” says Eric Stone, CTO and co-founder of Telesocial. “Our API translates user IDs into phone numbers, creating a phone-numberless voice service that connects people anytime, anywhere on their favorite device, the mobile phone.”
Unlike existing VoIP solutions, with Telesocial, users don’t need to download a separate voice client to participate in a call or be logged into a particular social platform, game or app to receive a call or voice message. Telesocial’s service is enabled by strategic relationships with telecoms providers. Telesocial calls leverage the existing mobile-phone infrastructure, without exposing users’ phone numbers or compromising voice quality as VoIP often does. Plus, it’s much easier to keep track of mobile voice minutes used with Telesocial than it is to keep track of how many megabites are consumed in a mobile VoIP conversation.
One of the coolest features of Telesocial’s platform is the ability to set-up Talkspaces™, which are always-on mobile to mobile conference lines centered around a specific topic or clique. With Telesocial’s new Click-Me-In functionality, users can click a link to be connected to a mobile Talkspace™ anytime, anywhere–without knowing other participants’ mobile telephone numbers – as long as they’re connected via a supported social network. When a new Talkspace is created, participants are invited to join via a web link that can be embedded in email or SMS. When you create a Talkspace™ you’ll be alerted as soon as somebody joins that space, making it easy to join a group phone conversation. You could, for example, set up a Talkspace that allows anyone in your family to initiate a group call instantly, no phone numbers required – perfect for making big announcements, sending birthday best wishes, or talking during a family emergency… You could also set-up a Team Talkspace for your closest colleagues, or use a Talkspace to initiate a focus group for a subset of your customers.
“President Obama has hosted several town hall meetings on various social networks,” says Bill Waytena, CEO and co-founder of Telesocial. “While his town hall meetings have reached tens of thousands of people via micro-blogging and fan page posts, we are confident that voice remains the most expressive and compelling way to connect with others. Imagine at the next online town hall meeting the President gets on the phone …what would you ask him then?”
I am currently at GDC Online in Austin, Texas talking with games developers about how they can benefit from Telesocial’s new API. Recalling my recent post on the Gamification of apps, one of the more interesting things I’ve realized about Telesocial is how easily the API can be used to drive gaming mechanics inside apps… Take, for example, the “Appointment” dynamic…. Developers can use Telesocial’s API to send voice mail messages with special instructions or secret missions to users, incenting/reminding users to come back into a game at a particular time. Games developers can offer benefits to active users to pull inactive players back into games. Likewise, communal discovery and shared experiences can be made more intimate through the use of voice to voice communication in game as well as asynchronously. Additionally, voice to voice interaction can be used to re-enforce social status in apps by giving users special status/benefits for making calls.
If you’d like to use the free Telesocial API, check it out here: http://dev.telesocial.com. For more information on Telesocial, visit: http://www.telesocial.com.
I’d love to know what you think about Telesocial’s platform, and/or if you use it to make cool apps. Ping me if you’d like to learn more or if you would like to meet the Telesocial team.