Technology

Facebook launches phone app that shows profile information when someone calls

Andrew Sadauskas /

Facebook has replaced the default phone app on Android smartphones with an app that shows users profile information about the people who are calling them.

The app, called Facebook Hello and developed by the company’s Messenger team, will also allow users to search for information about people and businesses within the app. For example, Facebook users will be able to get details such as a restaurant’s opening hours, reservation details and location within the app and call it with a single tap.

Facebook Hello will also allow users to block numbers and divert calls from commonly blocked numbers directly to voicemail. Users will only be shown information about other users they already have access to.

The launch comes the same week that Facebook rolled out three major changes to its News Feed that led the social media giant to warn website owners “post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline”.

Unfortunately, Facebook Hello is receiving poor reviews on Google Play, with 15,490 out of 50,244 users giving the app a rating of just one star. Some users have complained the app doesn’t go away even after being uninstalled.

The new app complements an app called Facebook Home that replaces the Home Screen on an Android smartphone with content from the social media giant. An earlier 2013 attempt by Facebook to launch its own Android smartphone with a highly customised interface failed, with the devices eventually being sold for less than $1 each.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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