Tech Crunch is reporting today that Facebook is teaming up with carriers to provide a “social calling” service. Initially striking up a deal with French carrier Orange, it seems the service will allow friends to make voice calls without knowing each other’s numbers.
The service will apparently allow users to make calls from mobile and desktop flavours of Facebook, using ties on Facebook to allow calling rather than possession of a phone number. It is planned to go live in France mid 2013. Orange’s reach spreads far and wide across Europe, however, so it seems likely that the service’s tentacles will spread.
It remains unclear how quickly that will happen, of course, and whether or not Facebook plans to roll it out internationally any time soon. It’s also not clear how consumers will embrace the news: while there’s certainly a shift towards voice calls being made online, the idea of any Facebook contact calling at will is maddening even in theory. [Tech Crunch]