Lilian Min
March 24, 2015 11:21 am

Our feelings about Facebook are complicated. While we love sharing messages and photos with friends, we’re careful about not letting the social network take over our lives. But if Facebook has it their way, they’re soon going to be tackling the final phone frontier: Calling.

That’s right — Facebook is trying to be your phone, and with plenty of user profiles and data, it’ll have built-in caller ID as well. The new app, reportedly called Phone, is apparently still being tested out by Facebook employees only, but some details about the app have leaked, and they’re interesting, to say the least.

For instance, there’s the fact that Phone will be able to immediately block calls from “commonly blocked numbers,” aka no more spam or those weird calls from “unknown numbers.” And of course, there’s the undeniable fact that your Facebook info will be pulled up every time you call through Phone. No longer will your phone contacts and your social media profiles be separate — Phone is Facebook’s case for why these things should be totally connected, all the time. That’s good for when you’re trying to learn everything possible about a new contact, but it also takes the whole “social media stalking” thing to its next frontier.

This isn’t actually the first time Facebook has tried the whole calling thing. Both Messenger and WhatsApp, Facebook-owned apps built around chatting (and adorable stickers), have in-app call features. However, like all apps, both rely on Wi-Fi/data connections to work; presumably, Phone doesn’t, which puts Facebook’s calling future in a weird place.

The phone calling function is the last stand of old phone technology. While plenty of apps feature in-app calling, they’re all tethered to phone data, which is bought through carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and the like. Facebook’s Phone would exist apart from that, but it’ll still need to run on an existing smartphone, or maybe it won’t? Is this Facebook’s attempt to create its own phone interface from scratch? Who knows — but though it’s anybody’s guess as to how and when the next great leap in social network tech will happen, we all know Facebook will be leading the charge.

(Images via here and Shutterstock.)

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