imVocal is a unique service that lets you assign a phone number to your online instant messaging account (GTalk, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, etc.). This allows your friends, family or anyone to call you from regular phones and talk to you on your computer or leave voicemail that you can check whenever you can.
There are dial-in numbers in several countries: USA, UK, Australia, Japan, France and Singapore. The US number to dial first is 1-888-878-6225. Once connected, your imvocal Vocal ID number is entered. It’s a 9 digit number that you create. For example, my Vocal ID is 404555921.
There’s also a widget you can embed on your website that can allow visitors to call you or leave voicemail messages. There have been others that did this (some no longer around by the way). It seems to work well. The widget will appear differently depending on whether or not you online or offline. One will allow live calls and the other one lets them leave voice messages.
When you receive calls, IM Vocal will inform you that a call is coming in via the IM buddy that you add to your messenger (imvocal.buddy1). You can answer it or let it go to voicemail much like screening a call on regular phones. To check the voicemail simply click the link in the IM or login to the main site and check your inbox.
- The calls are free because it’s leveraging the Internet so it’s most attractive for long distance calls.
- You can keep your real phone numbers private (which won’t matter if they are friends and family but for others it would)
- Your Vocal ID voicemail box will be available for calls 24/7
- You can add widgets to your blog or website
- No hardware or software to purchase, download or install
I still prefer Google’s GrandCentral for managing all my calls. However, this one might be more fun, especially for the kids out there. I’m not sure how long it’ll be around but I like the concept of keeping real numbers private and using the web to make free calls and most of all using widgets to call or leave voicemail messages 24/7. It will be even more attractive once they add support for video calls.