Jangl Powering Anonymous Phone Sex On PlentyOfFish

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When it comes to connecting with new friends safely and privately, Jangl fits the bill. The “Social Communications Widget” lets you make calls, send SMSs, and leave voice mails without exposing anyone’s phone number through a simple widget.

In contrast to their competitor, Jaxtr, they’ve been mainly spreading through a series of direct deals with social networking sites (Match.com, Tagged, AdultFriendFinder, and Fubar) and a Facebook/Bebo application (potentially on 80 million profiles). Jaxtr, on the other hand, has been spreading mainly through email links and personal websites (5 million users in under 5 months).

pof_janglsmapp.pngNow they’ve forged a deal to be featured on the maverick of dating sites, PlentyOfFish. PlentyOfFish is like every other dating site you’ve heard of, but free. Free has actually paid off pretty well for founder Markus Frind, who runs the site from his Vancouver apartment and takes in over $10 million a year in advertising.

Comscore ranked the site the number one dating site in December 2007, with an average of 1.3 billion page views a month (70,000 sessions and 3 million page views an hour).

Jangl’s widget will let daters call each other, send SMSs, and leave voice mails all without sharing a real number. The functionality makes it easy to take the next step in a relationship without sacrificing privacy, or just discreet phone sex. Calls will be terminated on Jajah’s servers as part of their existing relationship. Like PlentyOfFish itself, Jangl will be monetizing the service through text advertising; a first for the company. On other sites, the service is either ad-free or paid for as part of membership (match.com).

I’ve found social calling widgets (particularly Jaxtr and Jangl) to be the most attractive part of the VOIP market because they’re not competing in a race to the lowest calling rates, but adding real utility to our existing phone lines. Other voice widgets include Ccube, Tringme, and Snapvine. While monetization is still somewhat up in the air, both companies are testing out business models (paid Jaxtr minutes, or Jangl’s revenue sharing). Going forward we’ll see which models do and don’t work. I also expect both companies to continue adopting more advanced features similar to Google’s GrandCentral.

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