Facebook Phonebook App on the Horizon?

By Beecher Tuttle July 18, 2011

Facebook looks to be in the process of testing a new mobile app that will automatically roll all of the phone numbers of friends into an easy-to-use digital rolodex.

The app, dubbed Facebook Phonebook, was discovered by a friend of VentureBeat editor-in-chief Matt Marshall, who then forwarded it on to the technology website. The software apparently popped up on the user's Android-based Motorola Droid X without his knowledge.

Facebook Phonebook operates as one would expect. Once given permission, the app taps into a user's account and swallows up all of the contact information that is made public to friends. The numbers are then organized into an alphabetical contact list. Users can apparently make calls directly from the app.

From the evidence made available to VentureBeat, the app seems to exist outside of the native Facebook mobile client. Chances are good the feature will be integrated into the social network if Facebook gives the project a green light. The news source says that the company will most likely test the feature in Canada before looking to launch it globally.

The news comes just a few days after the social networking giant announced the launch of Facebook for Every Phone, a new downloadable app that provides a "fast and comprehensive Facebook experience" to users who still own feature phones.

The free app pairs down the social network to include only the most popular features, including News Feed, Inbox and Photos. The initiative should help Facebook encourage adoption in developing nations where smartphone technology has yet to arrive.

To further entice users in these areas, Facebook has partnered with a number of global carriers to provide free data access to the app for three months. This list includes operators from India, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan, but none based out of the U.S.

Visit m.facebook.com to learn more about the app.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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