Like IVR, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is working hard to change the landscape of telephone communications. Like IVR, VoIP has found most of its early-ish success with businesses.
It looks like Facebook is trying to bring more people over to VoIP by launching a new VoIP feature for its iOS Messenger app. At the same time, though, Facebook might be trying to get one over on partner and pioneer in the VoIP market, Skype.
According to Wired, Facebook added a voice service to its users who have iOS Messenger. On the surface, it appears to be just another service offering, but it’s more.
“When asked if Facebook and Skype were partnering to bring VoIP to Facebook apps, a Skype spokesperson told Wired via email a simple ‘no’ and would not comment beyond that,” Wired reported Tuesday.
Wired went on to speculate if Skype’s curt response meant that Facebook had developed its own VoIP technology and Facebook was maybe looking at jumping full on into the VoIP market.
“Facebook does have a very big installed base that already uses the instant messaging function within Facebook,” IHS analyst Francis Sideco told Wired. “It definitely has a good base in which to attack this market. It really depends on the business model and how they go to market with it.”
According to Wired, Skype has 45 million users. Meanwhile, Facebook has a billion. It’s not hard to speculate on what might happen if Facebook is now offering free VoIP to those billion users. Wired thinks (reasonably) that it could cut into the market share of Skype, Vonage and the other VoIP service providers.