Facebook has unveiled a new standalone voice-calling app called Hello. This app looks to replace the voice dialer on your phone to let you know who is calling (even if they aren’t on your contact list), block unwanted calls and search for people and places from the app. Also Read - Happy Friendship Day 2021: How to send Friendship Day wishes Stickers on WhatsAppAlso Read - Facebook is finally bringing 'smart glasses' in collaboration with Ray-Ban
In essence, Hello is much like Truecaller, which had also launched a dialer recently for Android. Hello also lets you search for local businesses and gives you the address, phone number and all the other information it can pull from Facebook without leaving the app. However, Truecaller is crowdsourced, so it holds a wider database of people or businesses that are not on Facebook. Hello is currently rolled out only to Android users in Brazil, US and Nigeria, and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. Also Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
This feature was also spotted last month, and at that time it was rumored to be called as ‘Phone’. The app is a caller id of sorts that not only shows info on the person calling, but automatically blocks blacklisted numbers as well. It even warns you if many users have marked a number as spam for you to chose to manually block them.
“From your settings, you can block specific numbers and adjust whether you want to automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers. Blocked calls go straight to voicemail and can be reviewed in your recent calls,” the company said in its statement.
The app interface keeps Facebook’s blue and white color scheme, and has a neat feature which allows you to even message someone from the app using Messenger. Your Facebook logins are enough to register on Hello and get started with the dialer app.
Rival Truecaller has over 100 million users, and claims to hold contact information of almost 1.5 billion people. In comparison, Facebook has over 1.44 billion people, and it is hardly surprising that the social giant wants to leverage the information it has. Hello will use this information to make the app more informative, and will even alert you of big events (like birthdays), based on the caller’s Facebook data.
The company’s other standalone apps like Home, news-reading app Paper and video sharing app Riff have met with little success. It remains to be seen how Hello is received by users.