Google acquires celebrity voice start-up SayNow

26 Jan 2011

Google has acquired a California-based social telephony start-up loved by celebrities called SayNow, which has already amassed a user base of 15m users.

SayNow’s technology can be used to conduct group calls, voice messaging and user-to-user conversations.

Its technology integrates with social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Android and iPhone and the company has recently released APIs for third-party app developers.

An example of an application built on the SayNow platform is SayNow Broadcast. SayNow Broadcast enables brands and celebrities like Soulja Boy to broadcast and receive voice messages, as well as chat one-on-one or in groups with their audiences. This drives engagement and a new stream of revenue.

Soulja Boy’s SayNow Phone Number, 678-999-8212, made wildly popular as the chorus of his No 1 single Kiss Me Through the Phone, recently hit the benchmark of 50m calls on SayNow.

The future of telephony is social

“Since 2005, we’ve explored fun and entertaining ways for people to talk with each other,” the company’s founders Ujjwal Singh and Nikhyl Singhal said in their company blog.

“Through the web, smartphones and even land lines, our products brought communities together through the power of voice. And as Google has some of the best voice products in the world, we believe combining forces with the Google Voice team will let us innovate in new and unexplored areas.

“We have no specific product plans to announce at this time, but we’ll have more to say about our road map as we integrate with Google, so stay tuned. We couldn’t be more excited about what is yet to come,” the founders said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years