SAN FRANCISCO – Internet telephone capabilities added to Google's free Web-based email service in the United States appeared to have been successful, with more than a million calls logged in the 24 hours after its launch.
More than a million Voice calls were racked up at Gmail by the time the feature was a day old, according to Google spokesman Randall Sarafa.
On Wednesday, Gmail was infused with Voice, a Google telecommunications service that lets people use a single telephone number for all of their phones.
A "call phones" option in Gmail chat enables people to make, screen or field Voice calls at their computers using Gmail.
Google made the service available to anyone in the United States in late June, but it wasn't until this week that it combined the Internet telephony feature with Gmail.
Along with letting users have one phone number that rings at all of their telephones, the service converts voice mail or text messages into email and allows for toll-free calls to the United States and Canada.
Voice boasts competitively low rates for international calls and is a challenge to global Internet telephony star Skype.
© AFP 2013