Social calling widget Jaxtr has just released a new destination called Jaxtr Cafe. Their widget, like Jangl’s, provides users with an anonymous number to call each other with the added bonus of cheaper long distance calling.
Up until now, Jaxtr users found each other more or less randomly on social networks of email signatures that listed links to the service. Jaxtr Cafe, however, is a social network of sorts where some 10 million users (50-60% active) of the service can find each other and carry on conversations about whatever they want. It also gives Jaxtr the opportunity to start monetizing their free service through advertising on the site. Jangl, on the other hand, has monetized on a case by case basis (rev share on Match.com, ads on PlentyOfFish).
Every user of Jaxtr is grandfathered in to Jaxtr Cafe’s profile database. You can search amongst these profiles based on interests and geography. For instance, if you want to talk to someone who’s an Australian and interested in food, you can easily do a search through the directory for just the right person. You can then call or text them using Jaxtr’s widget.
I was surprised no to see an offering closer to Ingenio’s Ether, but that may be an additional feature in the coming months. Rather the service seems a lot like Skype Live. However there’s the added advantage that while people aren’t always on Skype, but pretty much always have their phones. It does come at the cost of your local calling minutes, but you’ll wind up with a cheaper long distance chat.