Say goodbye to calls from unknown numbers. Facebook’s newest app Hello instantly matches phone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls to Facebook profiles to show you info about who you’re talking to, block calls from commonly blocked numbers, and search for businesses to call. Today, Hello is rolling out for public testing in the US, Brazil, and Nigeria, but the catch is that it’s Android-only since iOS won’t let apps interact with phone calls.
Hello’s caller ID feature could clue you in to whether you want to pick up a call from a number you don’t have saved by showing their name and profile picture — as long as they haven’t changed the default privacy setting that lets people search from using their phone number. You’ll then see whatever info they share publicly or with you, like city, employer, website, and more.
Technically, nothing is changing about Facebook privacy, though it does make personal info more readily visible. Hello essentially just runs an immediate Facebook graph search on any number you call or that calls you.
Hello works and looks quite similar to caller ID app TrueCaller. Last month, Android Police spotted Facebook experimenting with an employees-only version off Hello codenamed “Phone”.
Facebook’s now officially testing the app publicly, as Hello Product Manager Andrea Vaccari says there’s a big problem to solve. “More than 1 billion phone calls are made in the US ever day” he tells me. But “the experience of the phone call hasn’t evolved in a long time.”