flashphone.jpgFlashphone is offering a quirky free VoIP service that lets you make three calls of three minutes in length per day to most countries.

flashphone2.jpgThe list of countries this Russian-based company serves is here. Three minutes is pretty short, which may be what kills this company’s chance of spreading virally. It’s just too limiting, and there are too many other companies offering longer call times for just a little bit more. However, the company has pledged to make the calls unlimited length when it launches (though no word one when launch is happening).
Flashphone uses the VoIP protocol standard called SIP. It also uses Flash, which is all pervasive: Some 90 percent of computer users have Adobe Flash Player installed, so most people can use it. It’s web-based, nothing to download — all you need is a headset. The user-interface is simple and straightforward -– much the same as a cellphone.

It is similar to Jajah. You type your number online, and Flashphone calls your cell or fixed line phone and connects you to your recipient. There was a slight latency during the call when tested from California. Although some reviewers haven’t liked the Flashphone in its current state, it may have some potential if it markets itself right. For example, the Flashphone can easily be embedded into other web sites in the form of a widget — something that Jajah has also started to do. Advertisers can use it to become a click-to-call banner advertisement (advertisers put their phone number in the widget, so you click, and you end up talking with their customer support or sales person).

The product was developed by Innovation Systems of Communication, based in Moscow, Russia.