French service provider Orange plans to team up with Facebook to offer a feature called “Party Calls”. The service will let users call friends without the need of their phone number.
The service is expected to launch in the summer of 2013 in France and friends will be able to call each other either one-to-one or in a group. Orange is using Facebook’s open API (application programming interface) for the development of “Party Calls”. Users will also be able to post messages about their calls on each other’s timelines using Facebook’s open social graph.
An Orange spokesperson has told TechCrunch that the service will go live first in France in the summer of 2013. A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, ““By connecting its Party Call service to Facebook, Orange will be able to offer customers a truly personal experience. It is a great example of how companies can use Facebook’s open developer platform to make their products social. We are really happy that Facebook is transforming telecoms just as it has gaming, music, video and numerous other online services.”
This may not be the Facebook phone that we have all been waiting for but it is an expansion in the features offered by the social networking website nonetheless. Mark Zuckerberg had said that a Facebook phone doesn't make sense but that doesn't mean that the social networking website cannot have deeper integration with cellphones.
Facebook has been pretty active in expanding the services that it offers. Recently, Facebook announced a job-search tool. You can read the details of this service here. Facebook also updated its iOS and Android app with the share button, a feature that was highly overdue. You can read details of the addition of the share button here.