FriendCaller Launches Cross-Platform Skype Alternative; Offers SMS, Calls, Group Video Chat

friendcaller-logoHave you heard of FriendCaller? Well some have while most haven’t . Previously an iPhone only app, Friendcaller has relaunched as an alternative to Skype. FriendCaller is a service from C2Call(Click-to-Call) GmbH. It has funding from Michael Brehm (former executive director of StudiVZ , a European social networking site) and Tapesh Sinha (founder of Acctel Group of companies).

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So what’s so unique about FriendCaller? Well, its cutting-edge cloud hosted Java based VoIP technology turns any web browser into a phone instantly. Calls can be made directly from any browser without the installation of proprietary software such as Adobe Flash, or other plug-ins. Isn’t that fantastic?

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FriendCaller has been launched its new web and mobile apps which supports up to 7-way group video chats or 20 participants in voice only chat at once. The services are free for FriendCaller members, but one has to pay for calling external phones. Moreover, its new algorithms require significantly low resources on both the mobile client and cloud server side which makes it fast at the same time.

The new mobile chat app has features like text/SMS support(free for a limited time), caller ID, support for calling “real” phone numbers over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G.

The new app appears as a completely separate download as compared to the previously available app. The web app is available here online. However, the Android version of the new caller app is freshly launched. Here again you can use Facebook to sign up for a new account. Notably the app also has a Facebook app for using Friendcaller from within it.

If one doesn’t want to pay for credits, FriendCaller offers “offer wall”, a pay-per-download scheme. This allows non paying members to watch videos or download apps to earn those credits. The app also runs a banner ad to assist in monetization efforts.

About two years ago, the company had about 1.4 million subscribers but today, that number has reached about 6.5 million. The application is available for desktop environments of Linux, Windows, Mac apart from most popular web browsers as well as iOS and Android-based devices.

Be it the feature set, the plethora of platform that the app supports or the monetization model, Skype has reasons to panic. And hopefully users are going to gain as the contest heats up. So why not give it a shot now? I’m sure you won’t regret.

[via TechCrunch]

Group Video Chat on Facebook with Social Hangouts

A few weeks ago, Facebook introduced new features to their site that included group chat and video chat. The video calling feature was launched in conjunction with Skype, and is accessible through Facebook Chat. It allows Facebook users to have 1-on-1 video chat with friends and family members, unlike Google+ Hangouts that allows its users to group (video) chat with over 10 users at once.

Learn how to  Start Using  Facebook  Video  Calling Right Now

Facebook’s video calling feature does not support group call and is not available on smartphones. Hence, developers on Facebook came up with an app called Social Hangouts that allows you to video chat with 20 users at a time. That’s 10 more than Google+’s Hangout feature. It was reported that the app was launched a few days back to provide Facebook users a chance to group (video) chat with their friends, relatives and loved ones. This is great news to people who are still waiting for a  Google+ invite, since they  can now experience (group) video chatting on Facebook itself.

Group Video Chat on Facebook Social Hangouts

(Social Hangouts), a multi-user video chat application on Facebook, is now ready to take on the millions of Facebook users in a click of a button. Social Hangouts is a simple, easy to use application; you access the app without ever leaving Facebook, invite up to 20 of your contacts from your friends list and you could all be having a live video chat in no time! This might prove to be in Facebook’s favor, who to-date has managed to stay on top due to application and developers such as these and add to its arsenal against Google+.

Although Facebook’s (incomplete) video calling feature failed to create an impact, Social Hangout is certainly creating a buzz and gaining popularity. We had also seen TinyChat, another Facebook application that allows you to chat with 12 users at once. This application also lets you see a map of where your friends in chat are located.

Social Hangouts was developed in competition with Google+ Hangouts. To use Social Hangouts, all you have to do is to allow this application and send requests to your friends and family members to join Social Hangouts. Once the application is installed on your Facebook account and your freinds have accepted the invite, you can choose up to 20 friends from your friends list and invite them for over for a video chat.  Easy, isn’t it?

Go ahead and test the service here. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.