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Phone spammers that is.

In a report published over the weekend, Android Police caught what appears to be a new phone app on the horizon from Facebook. The app, appropriately called ‘Phone’, seems like it will provide enhanced information about numbers on your incoming phone call log, much like current caller ID apps. What differentiates this new app from its predecessors? Its connection to Facebook’s vast and detailed data set, which grows exponentially more diverse each day via people and businesses’ constant uploads and interactions. With ‘Phone’, Facebook could, for example, use its data, as indicated in the report, to block commonly blocked phone numbers throughout user networks. If this is the case, the app stands to only improve overtime, as users continuously report spammers and unsolicited cold calls. Here are a few other ways we’re thinking ‘Phone’ could work in the future.

7 Possible Facebook ‘Phone’ Features

  1. Expand ‘Click-to-Call’ Functionality: The app could provide phone numbers in both mobile and desktop ads. When you ‘click-to-call’ on a desktop, the app could send your request to your ‘Phone’ app and start your call.
  2. Block Spam: With this app, Facebook could gain the ability to identify businesses tied to spammy phone numbers and use that information as ranking or quality signals across all of Facebook.
  3. Improved Advertisement Targeting: If this app knows your phone number, it might also be able to identify your service carrier. With this knowledge, the app could track your call usage and provide ads for better calling plans.
  4. Measure Engagement: Facebook could track your call duration and frequency through this app as engagement metrics to enhance your newsfeed.
  5. Sync Facebook Actions with Real-World Actions: If you make a call to a business or vice-versa that you are not yet connected with on Facebook, Facebook could track that interaction with ‘Phone’ and show you an ad to Like that business page after your real-world interaction. The same could probably be true for personal phone calls, after which Facebook could send you friend request recommendations based on your call history and current Friend status or lack thereof.
  6. Improved Security: Using this app, Facebook could identify unwanted personal numbers and cross-reference them with their identified Facebook user to sync your personal off-Facebook blocking preferences with those on Facebook.
  7. Personalize Your Facebook Contacts: Facebook may quite possibly be able to use ‘Phone’ to sync the contact label data on your phone with your Facebook profile. For example, if my mother’s number is labeled as “Mom” in my phone, Facebook could suggest I mark her as such on Facebook to enhance my social graph. Furthermore, if I have both cell and work numbers listed for my mom in my phone, Facebook could cross-reference those with business data and now it knows where my mom works.

Of course, I’m not sure what Facebook’s exact plan is for this ‘Phone’ app, but I doubt the social network is only interested in blocking unwanted callers. Everything Facebook does is designed to enhance the vast set of engagement data on its social graph, enabling the social network to use that data to provide hyper-targeted ads to its users. Lucky us?


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  • David Hughes
    David Hughes

    Thanks for the insight. Do you think that this is going to be a separate App completely or part of Messenger or something else? Facebook just announced 600MM users of their Messenger App today I believe, growth of 100MM users in the last 4 months I think…

    March 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm Reply
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