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Google buys social network-compatible voicemail operation

Ma Bell Tinkerbell Zuckerbell

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Google has splashed out on SayNow, a start-up service that provides celebrities with Twitter-like voicemail, as it tries to take voice into the 21st century.

SayNow is only five years old, but claims 15 million people use its SayNow Broadcast service, which delivers celebrity soundbites to interested fans while enabling them to record their own messages in the forlorn hope that the object of their affection will listen to them... But it is the underlying platform that interests Google.

That platform manages mailboxes and call-routing – including group delivery of messages and conference-calling – as well as being integrated with the rest of the Web 2.0 crowd: Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

SayNow certainly swallows the blue pill when it comes to the internet. The company's CEO reckons it won't be long before social networks conquer all communications as everyone connects via their Facebook profiles: "Given a choice between Ma Bell and Zuckerbell as our [network] operator, we should choose Zuck," said Nikhyl Singhal, writing in TechCrunch last year.

We're assuming his choice of monolithic megacorporation has been swayed by Google's acquisition of his company, but the desire to embrace all things IP remains the same, along with the dismissal of efforts by incumbent providers.

All of that will be well received in the Chocolate Factory, and the SayNow platform will presumably add capabilities to Google Voice and be well integrated into any forthcoming social networking product. ®

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