Jangl, formerly known as Buzzage, is an breakthrough service which allows users to contact each other anonymously. Jangl creates a voice bridge between phones and the internet, allowing its users to communicate anonymously with others over land-line and mobile phones.
To call someone using Jangl, you begin by entering your email address on the Jangl homepage. Jangl generates a phone number which you can call to leave a voicemail which is sent to the recipient’s email address. When the recipient receives the email, it contains your voicemail as well as a local number which the recipient can use to call you back!
When you actually call the Jangl number, the service asks you for a short message describing who you are, similar to a collect call. This is a one time thing, and subsequent calls use that same personal description. When receiving return Jangl calls, you get to hear the caller’s introduction first, and you can be notified of the message by way of SMS or email.
The real intriguing feature offered by Jangl is the anonymous call widget. Basically, Jangl users can place a Jangl “jangl me” widget on their profile or website, and their visitors or friends can call them. Both parties’ real phone numbers are protected, enabling true internet calling using your own phone (instead of the typical headset internet calling we are used to). The widgets can be used anywhere that allows embedded HTML, like blogs, forums, classifieds, email sigs and websites.
I think this is an awesome idea. Maybe I am visiting the wrong sites, but I have not yet seen the widgets on people’s profiles or blogs. I do expect this to catch on though. Jangl has succeeded in finding a great way to combine the anonymity of the internet with the comfort and accessibility of mobile phones. Jangl has already created co-branded and white label partnerships with dating sites and social networking sites, and has received over $9 million in venture capital. It will be important for Jangl to simply their explanation of the technology and to offer demonstrations so that others understand the usefulness of their service.