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Voice Chat Coming Soon To Facebook

September 16, 2009

Members of the popular social network Facebook could soon be chatting with friends via voice.

However, this new feature is not going to be offered by Facebook, but by third-party developers who create apps for the Web site.

On Tuesday, Natick, Mass-based voice service provider Vivox announced the launch of a new initiative called Vivox Labs, which is intended to “capture and incubate new ideas around using Web Voice to create voice and web mashups,” the company said in a statement.

Vivox announced the first new features of its Labs initiative: one called Puggable.com, which is a Web site for World of Warcraft players creating pick-up groups (PUGs) to chat via voice.

The second project from Vivox is Vivox Web Voice for Facebook, which will allow users to chat vocally through applications designed for the social network.

“This new initiative enables us to work on new ideas, experiment with Web Voice and leverage what we learn for the benefit of our users and partners,” said Monty Sharma, co-founder and VP Product Management and Marketing at Vivox.

According to Vivox, Facebook users will be able to plug in, chat, play games, and hold meetings through the new application.

“The first two projects coming out of Vivox Labs are extraordinary examples of the passion and talent of our team and the adaptability of Web Voice. While we are excited about the potential of these early efforts, we know our partners will take these tools and further innovate them as gaming and the social web merge.”

The company also said it would be collaborating with developers to integrate voice capabilities into new third-party applications.

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