Friendster Turns to VoIP

Gretchen Gallen
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – As adult entertainment companies ponder over how to incorporate Voice over Internet Protocol technology into current business models, mainstream social networking company Friendster announced a deal this week with Voiceglo, a leading VoIP service based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

According to the terms of the deal, Voiceglo has signed on to provide the Friendster network with VoIP service, which enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in IP packets rather than by traditional circuit transmissions of the Public Switched Telephone Network.

Friendster has stated that the deal is expected to bolster its subscription base considerably by incorporating a technology that is not currently used by competing social or dating networks.

The deal with Friendster will leverage Voiceglo's proprietary, patent-pending technology called GloPhone that provides a way for subscribers to call each other via a broadband or dial-up connection. The technology is considered a form of peer-to-peer calling, according to Voiceglo, and it also offers the option of making calls to and receiving calls from traditional landline or wireless phones.

Voiceglo was launched two years ago by Michael S. Egan, the founder of Alamo-Rent-a-Car.

According to Friendster, the new VoIP product will be called the Friendster Phone.

"They were looking for a way to offer their users not only a value-added tool as part of the Friendster experience but they were also looking for a way from a business perspective to monetize their user base," said Chris Petrovic, VoiceGlo's vice president of strategy and business development. "Our product offers them that opportunity."

Voiceglo's deal with Friendster is one of many deals the VoIP provider has struck in recent months. In July, Voiceglo partnered with P2P network eDonkey to distribute its web-based telephone service through eDonkey.