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Facebook's new app seems a bit unnecessary

Facebook's new app seems a bit unnecessary

23 April 2015

Facebook has a new mobile app!

It's called Hello!

By connecting with your phone's contact list (Android only - iOS won't play ball), Hello can show you who's calling using their Facebook profile information, let you block their call and search for people and places!

Which would be revolutionary, were it launched in 2009. As it is, we're a little befuddled as to why Facebook has seen fit to launch an app that boasts features familiar to several other services and Android operating systems of the last... well, a long while. 

Hello is leaning heavily on the idea of being able to potentially identify your caller via Facebook's graph search: if the caller has their number listed on Facebook, it'll show you who's calling! Unless they've deactivated this through their privacy settings, in which case... you'll just have to pick up the phone like an adult and decide if you really want to talk to them. An unintentional perk might be in serving to highlight how much personal information you've shared with the world on Facebook, causing you to rethink whether you really want to give your phone number to people you don't know.

One neat feature to Hello is the Voice Over IP option - allowing you to make free voice calls over a data connection if your friend also has Hello installed. With Facebook's Messenger app already claiming 10 percent of global Voice Over IP calls, Hello is looking to grow that number. 

Otherwise, Hello feels like a lot of apps that already exist. Skype, Whatsapp and Messenger are major players in the Voice Over IP market, while Business Search seems like an oddly convoluted alternative to Google Search. 

Currently available for Android users in the US, Brazil, and Nigeria, Hello should arrive in more countries in the coming weeks.