Jangl, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based start-up that launched last year as an anonymous calling service, is getting ambitious, and has launched a new service, which on the face of it might indicate a desire to cash in on the social networking hype, but in reality could turn the company into the white pages of the web-voice world.
The press release, especially the title, is a turn off smacking of a start-up over hyping itself. I almost passed on this, up until I read this post by Alec Saunders, and started thinking about the longer implications of what Jangl announced.
Here are the basics of this service:
Lets’ say if you meet someone and the only information you have about them, is their email address. You can go to Jangl website, and enter their email address. The Jangl system assigns them a temporary phone number, and allows you to leave them a voice mail message, which is then forwarded to their email inbox.
They can choose to call you back, using Jangl assigned temporary number. You can do the same with someone’s instant messaging identity as well.
Now if a lot of people use this service – hence the social networking push – Jangl can quietly build a directory. You can enter anyone’s email address and find him or her in this directory or white pages. If their plans works, and service gets adoption, Jangl becomes the next generation SIP directory. (Aswath, any thoughts?)
From Jangl’s business perspective, it is part of Jangl’s evolution as a voice services company, moving beyond the anonymous calling (which is paying some of the bills right now.) It also allows the company to compete with Jaxtr and Wengo in the social networking/social media space.