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Need A Number? Nope, Just An Email Address

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[ Business]

It sounds either useful, creepy, or bound for abuse: Jangl.com has set off a service that allows people to call anybody with a known email address.

The benefit is, obviously, that Jangl claims they can put you in touch with anybody in the world for free. The target of your call doesn’t have to accept, and can block calls.

Jangl, not subtle in its sales pitch, aims to bridge the gap between the web and the phone. Available in 31 countries, the service is targeted at the billion worldwide mobile users.

“We recognize that, right now, the web and the phone are two separate silos of communication,” said Michael Cerda, CEO and co-founder, Jangl, Inc.

“Today, we are introducing the kernel of a service that allows those silos to collapse. We’re virtualizing phone numbers, and making them as usable, manageable and disposable as email addresses.”

Users enter the email address of the person they wish to connect with and Jangl gives them a local phone number to use. On the first call, a voice mail is recorded that is delivered to the other person’s email along with a private call-back number.

On the other side, Jangl provides a "Call Me" link that can be added to a blog, personal profile, or business card. Or interested parties can add the Jangl widget. They also offer SMS notification of voicemail messages.

While that sounds well and good, it seems ripe for spammers, telemarketers, and stalkers – even if the receiver can block callers. It doesn’t seem like it would be all that hard to set up new accounts to get around that.

Need A Number? Nope, Just An Email Address
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  • tim

    Jason,

    The idea that our customers will be spammed is a bit unrealistic. Anyone intent on spamming would have to create a Jangl account, verify their number, send a voicemail, etc. Over and over. And yes, it’s easy for our customers to block a caller permanently.

    The whole “value” of spam (to the spammer) is that it can be done quickly and en masse, with (usually) targeted lists. Do you seriously think spamming via Jangl will be any of those things?

    Have you tried it out? Check it out and call (or Jangl) if you’d like to climb off the ledge and hear the good (and realistic) stuff, too.

    tim