Fabien Röhlinger from AndroidPIT got a chance to get an interview with fring's VP of Marketing, Jake Levant. Fring is a free app available and was one of the first mobile VoIP clients on Android. According to fring's website, fring allows users to "make free mobile calls, video calls, live chat & more, from their mobile phone with all their friends on fring & other internet services like Skype®, MSN Messenger®, GoogleTalk™, AIM®, ICQ® , Facebook® & Twitter, all through one central, integrated phone book."
Below is the Q&A session between Fabien and Jake:
Jake, please tell us a little bit about you and fring?
fring (www.fring.com) is a multi-award winning mobile service that lets users communicate over mobile internet and share experiences from their mobile devices. fring operates as the users' mobile social communication hub, giving fringsters FREE video calls, voice calls, live chat and more to friends on fring and other integrated communities and social networks all through one central profile. fring is completely free to download and free to use. fring is the mobile internet communications pioneer being the first to launch mobile Voice and video calls over IP on all major platforms including Android, iPhone and Nokia/Symbian.
I'm leading the marketing team which means that I make sure more people know about fring, use it and love it! Thankfully, with innovations like free mobile video calling, it's easy to understand why our service continues to grow exponentially. Our users love fring and share it with their friends as we add more than 1/2 million new users each month on smartphones alone.
Can you tell us what the business model is behind fring?
fring monetizes through mobile advertising. With millions of users using fring for an average of 5 hours each day, we are able to geo target relevant ads. We also offer VAS.
A lot of carriers do not allow "tethering". Isn't that an obstacle for you? If yes, how could you prevent harm?
There is no issue for fring and tethering with operators. Tethering is connecting your laptop to your mobile's 3G internet connection. fring does not do this. We offer our services directly on the mobile phone using the smartphone's internet connection. The magic of fring is that there is no reason to use a PC or laptop for communications when you have smartphone. Users can enjoy all the internet rich communication directly from their phone!
What does Android mean to fring as a company? And how do you see this operating system in the next years?
Android is a key platform for us. It has become even stronger over the last months as there are more manufacturers launching Android based devices. In a short period of time, Android has established itself as a powerful development platform with the support of many strong manufacturers and users. For fring, we love Android's user base and the flexibility the platform gives us to deliver the most loved internet communication experiences to users.
What are the future plans and milestones of fring?
That is the million dollar question! Without divulging secrets, you can continue to expect fring to drive rich-internet communication innovation.. Thanks to our understanding of the mobile users lifestyle, communication behaviors and desires and a crack development team, users should expect to see even more rich ways to communicate with your friends and family on the go.
Thanks Jake, and thanks Fabien.