RealTime IT News

Twitter Now Makes Phone Calls

Use Twitter to make phone calls? You betcha. IP communications company Jajah has released a beta of its "Tweet-to-Talk" service, JAJAH@call, that the company says lets users make calls via Twitter for free.

The "@calls" are made without revealing the caller's phone number and, conversely, callers don't even need to know the number of the person they want to call -- just their Twitter username.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Jajah says you can use the service to make a call by sending a tweet (Twitter message) with "@call @username" (i.e., username as in the Twitter name of who you are calling). If that person follows you on Twitter, a free two-minute call (what Jajah rightly says is the verbal equivalent of a 140-character tweet) will be initiated. Both Twitter users need to be Jajah users as well.

"Telcos and mobile operators face huge challenges in a world where people check their tweets or their Facebook messages before they check voice mail," said Jajah CEO Trevor Healy in a statement. " Jajah@call showcases how easily we can bring telephony into the social media environment, where operators can now participate."

According to Jajah, the Jajah@call service works regardless of whether you use Twitter on a desktop or mobile computer or a mobile phone, or if you use a third-party Twitter client like Seesmic (desktop and mobile) TwitterBerry (for BlackBerry devices), Tweetie and Twiterfon (for the iPhone) or Twidroid (for Android devices) .

Most of the products Jajah develops based on its IP Communication Platform are white-labeled by carriers and Internet companies as hosted solutions sold to their end-user customers. Among other solutions, Jajah has one that adds mobile phone capabilities to Apple's iPod Touch.

In June the company announced it had reached the milestone of a billion connected calls using the Jajah platform since it's launch.

The Twitter bandwagon

Meanwhile, Jajah is only the latest of a diverse set of companies to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. Earlier this month, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) announced Salesforce for Twitter designed to help companies perform real-time support.

And just last week, Motorola (NYSE: MOT) highlighted access to Twitter as a key feature in the Motoblur service that is central to a new line of Android-based phones, including the Cliq from T-Mobile due out later this fall.