In an April 19 press release, T-Mobile USA rep Tom Harlin announced the launch of “Bobsled.” This new app for Facebook permits users to call their Facebook friends through the program’s chat feature. Bobsled is free to all Facebook users, regardless of their affiliation with T-Mobile. Which is good, because who has T-Mobile?
One of T-Mobile’s big selling points? “The application eliminates the need for dialing – users simply click on a friend’s name to start the conversation.” This amuses me. It’s as though T-Mobile is implying that clicking seven buttons (or God forbid, ten) is exhausting.
As for the receiver of the call, no Bobsled app is required.
In a way, it’s as though we’re taking a step back. Our main communication method went from letters to phone calls, then emails, then texts. Now our popular method is general status updates via our social network program of choice. This is the cool stuff I’m doing today; aren’t you jealous?
Now we’re back to promoting an older and neglected medium. Will it catch on (again)?
Personally, I’m interested in seeing if Bobsled minimizes the lack of formality in Facebook.
As we all know, a Facebook “friend” could be a cousin you haven’t seen or spoken to in decades, a classmate you had back in ‘77, or complete stranger. And we’ve all accepted a Facebook friendship or two out of guilt. (Sorry Ma.)
When I was friended by the organist at my church, I was aware that the friendship was more out of curiosity (fingers crossed for drunk pics!) than the need for communication. What was the harm? Should Gail post a message on my wall, it would have no effect on my life.
But what about a phone call? (*shudder*) Gail and I aren’t that kind of friend. We’re only Facebook friends.
Might Bobsled open the door for “real” conversations on Facebook? Will we have to be more selective about who we accept Facebook friendships from, or perhaps search out different types of friends?
Our virtual world of social companionship shifts again. Bring it on, Gail.