January 31, 2007
Michael Robertson over at Gizmo Project has some thoughts
on how he expects the world to embrace free advertising supported content. His company SIPphone has launched a new service called GizmoCall.com
allowing anyone to speak for free to virtually any phone for up to 5 minutes. If you register you can speak for 10 minutes. If you pay, you can speak longer.
The genius of GizmoCall is that it does not force you to download software – you just use Flash. And since the program uses Flash it can support the display of ads as well.
Michael likens this approach to exactly how YouTube became so successful. His point is that services proliferate much more quickly when they do not require you to download software.
Is this an accurate statement? Absolutely. The challenge is that this new service is obviously behind Skype in terms of popularity and it seems people do not mind downloading Skype and other software packages. In my opinion, had this service come out a few years back it would have forced Skype to change business models.
This doesn’t mean I believe the service isn’t destined for success. I think there is ample room for many VoIP players and this is a unique enough approach to providing VoIP that many people will use. This is especially true in situations where people are not allowed to download software to their computers.
I have a great deal of respect for Robertson and I wish him luck with this new “project.”