No proof has emerged about a mobile operating system from Facebook ever since the rumor first arose, but a substantial new development has rumor mills in a hyperdrive. Orange, the multinational telecom company from France has just signed a partnership deal with Facebook. According to the deal Orange will be offering a social calling feature for Facebook users, called “Party Call.” Basically a service/feature that will allow users to make voice calls to each other.
Simply put, Orange’s Party Call service for Facebook will function exactly like Skype. Users will be able to make individual calls as well as conference calls and among users of the service the feature will not be charged for. You will be able to make calls directly to anyone on your friendslist without the use of any phone numbers. It is understood that such a service has to be IP based and in this case, Orange will power the service using its IP based calling and messaging service, Libon. This service is already available as a mobile application for iOS, with an Android app launching in 2013. Facebook “Party Call” will work for both mobile and Desktop versions.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
According to an Orange spokesperson, Facebook social calling feature will be available in France from next year onwards. But since Libon currently functions in various other countries, including all the major countries in Europe, it is believed that Facebook social calling will be available in these countries sooner than later.
Coming back to the Facebook mobile rumor, TechCrunch, which first reported about the Facebook-Orange deal has learnt through its sources that plans for Facebook mobile are still on, with Orange as its partner.