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Facebook invents Caller ID ... say Hello to today's staggering technology

As Zuck's profits drop 20 per cent from this time last year

Facebook has released a smartphone app called Hello that matches the numbers of incoming calls to friends and businesses on the social network, and displays them on-screen, giving you a slightly better idea of who's calling if you can't recognize the digits.

It's otherwise known as Caller ID, and the tech fashion press is going nuts about it. ("If you're a retailer and you target Millennials, it's time to take note. This new Facebook feature could be a game changer," shrieked the Huffington Post earlier today, for example.)

Hello, which runs on Android, also allows people and businesses to call each other directly from their Facebook pages – which is handy if you don't have their number to hand.

"When you get a call, Hello will show you info about who’s calling you, even if you don’t have that number saved in your phone," wrote Facebook product manager Andrea Vaccari. "You will only see info that people have already shared with you on Facebook."

The app is available from the Google Play store. Facebook did not say if or when an iOS port of Hello would be released.

Zuck and co can afford to splash a bit of cash on experiments such as Hello these days. The company's latest quarterly earnings report, published today, shows Facebook turned a US$512m (£340m) profit for the three-month period, down 20 per cent year-on-year.

Total revenues for Facebook on the quarter were US$3.54bn (£2.35bn), a 42 per cent increase on the year-ago total of US$2.5bn (£1.66bn). The social network said it logs 936 million daily active users, up 17 per cent from last year's quarter. Facebook's US$0.42 earnings per share return was above analyst estimates of US$0.40. ®


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