Nowadays, communication is absolutely critical. The rising interest in social media has made that very clear. How? Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ make communication a constant in everyday life. Through these platforms, users are able to collect contacts and contact information, as well as connect with individuals through a variety of tools—i.e. message, email, chat, and even voice/ping. This has created constant availability. Though social media has fostered this type of communications mentality, it would not have been possible without VoIP technology.
VoIP & Social Media Better Connect People
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, has allowed social networks to expand communications substantially. How? By integrating various free features and functions directly within the social media platform. As a result, social networks have become comprehensive one-stops for information and real-time communications. Don’t believe me? Just look at what some social networks can do.
VoIP features like video chat, instant Caller ID with Name/Location, Internet faxing, directories, and free long distance calling have been integrated quite wholly. Much like caller ID, users can view detailed contact information directly on social networks via user profiles. Much like Internet faxing—which allows users to fax documents without any specific equipment—social networks support messages with document attachments. Directories have been expanded upon to. Now, users have access to much more detailed contact information via user profiles. Social networks like Facebook have even grown to include free voice calling and voice messages.
Facebook’s Messenger App Blends VoIP with Social Media
With all this in mind, it’s undeniable that social media has begun to more aggressively integrate more and more aspects of VoIP. While the above features are pretty identifiable, Facebook perfectly demonstrates this merger. Earlier this year, the social media mogul added voice calling to its Messenger app and Home platform. As such, users are now able to make free calls to any of their “friends” within the social network itself. Past voice calling, users are also able to send voice messages, media, and attachments. With this addition, Facebook users now have unlimited access to all of their “friends” on the platform. As such, they can view extensive information to keep up-to-date, share media, and even communicate at any time directly from the social media platform.
Past working within the confines of the social media platform, social media can also benefit VoIP on users’ mobile devices. For example, on one’s mobile phone, the Facebook mobile app can sync contacts to your phone—meaning all your “friends”’ contact information will be saved in your contacts on your mobile device. For those who utilize Mobile VoIP, this can help amass a comprehensive directory outside of social media.
Google Follows Suite with Their Hangouts Application
There’s no denying that Facebook has integrated VoIP in a very big way; however, they aren’t the only social media mogul who’s done so. Google recently rebranded their Talk application as Hangouts. With this change, Google has integrated VoIP functionality in a bold way. As such, they have included VoIP calling via Google Voice; however, unlike Voice, Hangouts uses data not voice minutes. Additionally, the app makeover also allows users to turn any message into a video with up to 10 friends, as well as includes a contact directory and real-time status availability.
Much like Facebook’s application, Hangouts incorporates contacts from the individual’s Google+ account—i.e. the user’s “circles.” Additionally, the app also allows users to message one another at any point (even if the contact isn’t available at that time). Outside of this, the Hangouts application is comparable to Facebook, as both utilize many VoIP features. As a result, Google is able to offer users a more extensive app that blends these two platforms nicely.
Is VoIP & Social Media Integration Really All That Great?
Google and Facebook’s integration of VoIP definitely proves just how beneficial these two modes can be when utilized together. While they aren’t perfectly balanced quite yet, these apps are definitely steps in the right direction. That being said, VoIP has definitely lent itself to the advancement of social media. The telephony mode allows for a number of features that have expanded communications within the realm of social media. As such, users are given a much more extensive communications platform, which they can use to better connect with people all over the world. And that’s the point of social media right, to connect? If so, VoIP is allowing the platform to work more efficiently than ever. Furthermore, VoIP is allowing individuals to better utilize social media/social networks.
The merging of social media with VoIP is definitely a positive for users. As the two modes become more entangled, users are given more and more ways to connect with one another. In a world where communication is needed as often as possible, this is definitely a huge plus.