The astonishing growth of smartphones worldwide presents a promising picture about the way communication technologies have evolved over the past few years. However, such growth also comes associated with several challenges that impact the overall user experience. Mobile spam, for example, has been one of the most common threats facing the industry. The spike in the number of robocalls and other types of spam calls has forced many companies to invest in technologies that thwart the growth of such spammers. Spam block software and caller ID apps are a few among them.
Innovations in spam block software
Most of the advanced smartphones are provided with apps to block an unwanted caller, but such apps have a number of limitations. They may not be effective in blocking the robocalls and the so-called “chipmunk” calls from call centers or telemarketing companies in a proactive manner. Some of the latest innovations in spam block software come from companies like Facebook and Nimbuzz. With features such as caller ID, call blocking, caller search, these apps are capable of identifying spam calls and blocking them before they intrude into the privacy of a smartphone user.
Facebook’s latest innovation, Hello, is a caller ID system that alerts users about an incoming call and allows them to block it instantly if required. The app uses data from Facebook page and presents a detailed picture of the caller based on the information he/she shared in their public profile. Such apps are effective in blocking users who have shared their mobile number to the public, but not effective in preventing spammers who mask their identity and hide their details.
Much before Facebook launched Hello, Nimbuzz, one of the pioneers in smartphone apps, had launched a caller ID and spam filtering app called Holaa. This app offers advanced features enabling users to identify callers based on a number of criteria including name, photograph, location or email ID. The intelligent app also uses historical data from other users to analyze whether a specific caller was marked spam or not by any user and alert the new user about it.
Truecaller is another popular phone search app that allows users to identify missed calls, search people based on their name or mobile number and block spam calls. Truecaller is a global mobile phonebook, so it is useful in searching phone numbers across the world.
Spam blocking to improve productivity
With latest trends such as BYOD and social media gaining popularity among individual and business users, spam block software has become an indispensable component in smartphones. The increasing use of smartphones for business communications has made companies, especially small firms, vulnerable to a variety of malicious calls and messages, which could also lead to data theft. Spam block software is the right approach in such scenarios.
The business impact of spam calls cannot be ignored. Marchex in the U.S. explains the impact of spam calls on small businesses. According to the report published last year, answering spam calls wasted nearly 20 million hours a year for small businesses in the U.S., which translates to about $475 million annually.
The nuisance created by robocalls and telemarketing calls has forced governments across the world to adopt stringent measures against the sources of these calls; however, the rising number of mobile spams reveals that such measures are not effective today. While Do Not Disturb (DND) registry works for traditional voice calls, it does not work for Internet-based calls like WhatsApp and Skype. With a large number of individuals and businesses using these apps to promote their products and services, the number of telemarketing calls from such sources is likely to rise further.