Google has a new feature in beta testing that is very cool. It places a button on your web site that lets visitors instantly connect to you on the phone, without showing your phone number. Calls are routed through an online interface and you have the option of answering it or letting your voice mail catch the call. You can even prevent specific numbers from calling you. The feature is called WebCall, and it’s actually made available through a service called GrandCentral.
GrandCentral is a service that was recently acquired by Google. It promotes itself as “the new way to use your phones.” It provides you with one phone number that rings all your phones and one voicemail box that can store all your messages. It also lets you record calls on the fly. This could be a very useful feature for recording audio testimonials for a web site.
Currently, only select people are being allowed to use the service. Select people, that is, and users of Blogger. We’ve stated before that we think there may be an advantage to using Google’s own blogging platform, and this is another one: preferential treatment from Google with regard to new tools and gadgets.
We will be trying out the new call button. Why not? It may turn out that users who would not otherwise have contacted us will do so just because of the convenience. It is definitely worth trying. You never know what little extra convenience will cause the phones to start ringing.
If you don’t blog, start. If you do blog, use Blogger.