Saturday, September 4, 2010

Facebook VoIP Architecture and the Death of Phone Numbers

As we know Facebook supports XMPP for Chat, meaning you can use your preferred XMPP Client to use Facebook for Chat. But do you really think Facebook rolled out XMPP support only for Chat?
If so, you are indeed wrong.
Facebook wants to expend their communication profile. Like others like Google, MSN, Yahoo, Skype, etc, they also want realtime interaction meaning Voice and Video communications.

  • Facebook users have more Facebook Friends than contacts in their phonebook.
  • People change phone numbers and your are not automatically updated.
  • Phone Numbers belongs to Operators/Countries, your Facebook account is much more personal.
  • You can control who can call you. On regular phone you are often victim of unwanted calls.
  • Phone Calls and SMS are more expensive them IM and VoIP in most cases.
  • Facebook average number of Contacts per user is way bigger than Skype.
  • Skype is too limited and close to create the same loyalty that Facebook always had.
  • If they also open this for XMPP Federation, it would indeed speed up the death of "phone numbers" as we know.
  • As Facebook already have support for XMPP Chat, certainly they will use XMPP Jingle.
  • For Media Relay and Distribution Points? For sure Jingle Nodes will be the simplest, fastest and most reliable way to delivery Multimedia for their gigantic number of users at once.
  • How would it look like for browser users? They will use new advanced browser features to have Jingle Clients running on it. Like GMail already have for a long while.
  • They already have the PERFECT routing and presence in place, XMPP for Chat, same exact route can be used for Jingle if Facebook enable support for IQ routing in their XMPP network.
Overall Picture:

This post is a proposition of how Facebook will do their Voice/Video support in near future. The use of Jingle and Jingle Nodes is not confirmed at all. But sure will be an extremely bad idea of Facebook to do not do it like described above! I challenge them to do it better and more open than this.


  1. Facebook's current chat infrastructure is not based on XMPP at all. They just provide an XMPP gate into it. They would first need to switch to XMPP internally, they do not have the perfect routing in place at all right now...

  2. can you explain on voip architecture..

  3. These new inventions like face book are all right for those countries who have good education rate. However, those with poor rate of education, face book is useless as 80% of the population does not know for which nonsense face book is used. In such remote areas voip phone service is the best as this is cheap as well as easy to use.

  4. I think no any person explain this architecture. Its very hard to explain here........

  5. Nice article. I am not familiar with these techniques, could you please explain the benefits and the role of the nodes with respect to the XMPP server ? I guess the obvious answer : system load. But am I right in understanding that the nodes will take care of "all" voice/video traffic ? Consequently, which role will play the XMPP server ? (if you have a nice weblink, it is also ok) Thanks in advance !