Jangl, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of free Internet-based phone services, is announcing four partnership deals. Its technology will be integrated into sites ranging from dating services provided by Various.com and Fubar, to the live 24/7 video blog Justin.tv, to video-production site Revision3.
Jangl lets you create disposable phone numbers that you can share with others, instead of giving out your real number — letting you make and receive calls anonymously. This is a logical service to use, for example, for Various’s “FriendFinder” dating site (and its more lurid adult version) to flirt with strangers without having to give your real phone number.
Jangl provides a lightweight and easy service, but its challenges are two-fold. There is so much noise now from competitors, and from regular telecom providers. If people are home, using their PC, they’re usually going to use their home phone, and if they’re on the road, its their cell. How many times are people going to need disposable numbers for dating sites? Can’t they just block their IDs? Will people use it enough to remember the service exists?
These partnerships are also a new revenue stream for the company, which will receive regular payments for integrating its services with the sites. It has also been considering a range of other business models including subscription services and audio ads.
Previous coverage here.
Jangl says these deals will put its services in front of 20 million more potential users — meaning people who will be exposed to the service, but may choose not to use it. The company says that these partnerships are its latest moves in a “real estate land grab” taking place between competitors for such socially-focused web sites. Jangl has already cut deals with another well-known dating site, Match.com.
The company has been busy rolling out new features, including, a way to make free international calls. It provides a URL that you can share with others that they can use to call you — again, without you having to give out your real number. It provides a widget that you can embed into social networks such as MySpace. It has also recently launched a Facebook application.
[Note: In the comments below, David Yoo of Fubar explains how his site is a virtual community, not just a place for people to find dates.]
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