If there are two technologies that define how we communicate with friends and family online, they are Facebook and VoIP. Facebook has one billion users and is still growing. Five hundred and sixty million people have tried the most popular VoIP service, Skype. And, yet, the two aren't as integrated as one might think.
Many VoIP systems have some form of Facebook integration, but it's similar to the Facebook integration that you'll find on websites or LinkedIn. It's mostly a method that allows you to more easily find your friends on the service, instead of being tightly integrated with Facebook itself.
Facebook does have an integrated VoIP system of a sort. It's called Bobsled, and it’s a product of T-Mobile that you'll need to download. Once installed, it's possible to use your existing business Internet connection and computer microphone to make calls to friends via Facebook.
But you'd be forgiven if you didn't realize this existed, since Facebook doesn't promote it; it doesn't even mention Bobsled on its help page. In fact, Bobsled's own page on Facebook doesn't even mention its VoIP with Facebook capability.
So, why doesn't Facebook simply have a Call button next to Like and Share?
There are a few reasons for that.
It's likely. Certainly the company is focused on connecting its users, and the existence of Bobsled shows that it has some interest in doing so. It may, of course, eventually have no choice. Google, for example, has integrated its Google Plus and Google Voice services, and while so far that hasn't communicated an enormous strategic advantage, Facebook is looking closely at Google Plus. We won't be surprised if a few years down the line, you will see a Call button, just perhaps not for free.
Where does this leave businesses? For now, most VoIP systems will integrate with Facebook in terms of finding friends on the network, which will likely be useful for small business owners. But keep an eye on Facebook's moves over the next few years: You may be able to integrate your VoIP and social networking sooner than you think.