As I outline in the blog post, Party Line, available (to Facebook users) at www.equals.com/partyline lets you create an unlimited number of "party lines", each of which can have up to five participants. To initiate a group call, you either dial in to 1-877-4-BUZZ-ME or you initiate the call from within the Facebook page. The application calls all the other participants and brings you all into a group conference call. You can talk for as long as you want. No bridge numbers to remember. No passcodes. Very simple to use.
For Equals, the company who developed this Facebook application, this is their first product and platform. They've indicated that in the end they want this app to also work with OpenSocial and be able to connect into the other social networking services out there supporting OpenSocial. I'll be very interested to see how well it is adopted.
From a Voxeo point-of-view, as I mention later in the blog post, this is the first Facebook app (that we know of) that uses our SIP/XML application platform, so it is admittedly exciting for us to see. We know we have a great platform for developing these kind of voice applications, but to see someone else recognize that and actually go off and develop such an application is rather cool to see.
On a technical level, it's great to see an example of what you can do with Call Control XML (CCXML). Before joining Voxeo six months ago, I knew absolutely nothing about CCXML but as I learned about what it could do, I was truly amazed. Essentially, it is an XML layer that lets you drive and control SIP-based applications. There's an amazing number of tasks you can do with CCXML and it's something I'll be writing more about here and over on Voxeo's blogs in the future. (If you'd like to learn a bit more now, you can look at the CCXML documentation, check out some CCXML tutorial videos or look at the recent post about sending telephony presence to Twitter.)