Yesterday I talked for almost half an hour with Jeff for free. No news here. But the fact that he called me from his mobile to my mobile, without the aid of computer – that’s something else.
Jeff and I were using a new service called Jaxtr (can someone please explain to me why all these new companies have to find strange, unpronounceable, stupidly spelled names?). The service is very simple – you sign in, invite your friends (yes, I know, another annoying 2.0 feature), and get a local number to call your friend. From that point onward, you don’t need to use the computer anymore – just call the number and you get to the guy you want, in local call fee. It is easier to use than Skype, cause you don’t need a client, and simpler than Jah-Jah cause you don’t need to go to the website every time you want to make a call.
Cool isn’t it?
Well, nothing is perfect, as they have a strange credit system. When I signed up, I got 100 credits. After Jeff and I talked, I had zero credits. Jeff called me – and I lost my credits. Mmm… a bit stupid isn’t it? If these guys want me to use their service, I shouldn’t pay if someone calls me – it should be the other way around. For years, one of the major obstacles for mobile adoption in Israel was the fact that call receivers had to pay for each incoming call. That caused people to ask their friends not to call them on their mobile. Not really the best way to encourage usage isn’t it?
Another interesting question is how these guys are going to make money. It’s hard to find a reason to buy new credits, now that the free ones are used. Jaxtr have cool widgets for blogs and email signatures – but so do Skype. So, if I want someone to call me, I just put my Skype widget (as you can see already on the right) and get the same functionality. I hope that this is not another free-as-a-business-model companies.
Anyway, now I can get 20 credits for each new person I invite as my friend. If you are interested in this service, or calling me and wasting my credits, please leave a comment below and I’ll happily invite you.
And if anyone from Jaxtr is reading this post – I’d love to have a short chat with you guys, and better understand your business.
Notes – Jeff wrote about these guys, and also Mike. The company is stressing their social network affiliation as main value proposition and differentiation. I am still not convinced that they have a real edge on Skype and others.
Update – Konstantin Guericke, Jaxtr CEO left me a comment several hours after the original post was published:
“…Free calling is a feature of jaxtr, but so are things like being able to receive calls on your phone while keeping your number private and controlling who gets through to voicemail and who gets to ring your phone (and which phone). Also, you can do more with your widget than just receiving calls–for example, you can record an update in your own voice. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but some of our users like this as much as the “Skype without the hassles” feature. Like LinkedIn, we plan to offer our basic service for free, but charge for premium features (and integrate some advertising to support the free version)…”
Scoble interviewed him here .
Hey, Even I Can Use Jaxtr!