Whoscall

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Whoscall
Whoscall icon20150610.png
Developer(s)Gogolook Co., Ltd., a division of Naver Corporation
Initial releaseAugust, 2010
Operating systemAndroid, Windows Phone, iOS
Available inEnglish, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Hindi
TypeCaller ID, Telephone Directory, Spam Filtering, Fraud Protection
LicenseProprietary
Websitewhoscall.com

Whoscall is a caller ID and number management mobile application developed by Gogolook, a division of Korean IT company Naver Corporation. The app identifies incoming call as the call comes in allowing users to identify important calls and filter out unwanted callers. It also includes number management features, number and keyword blocks and an offline database. Whoscall relies on its networks of local partners, internet searches and user community generated content to identify numbers. The platform is available across the Android, Windows Phone and iOS platforms.

The name Whoscall derives from "Who is calling?", and is available in 31 countries, including Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Brazil.[1]

History and development[edit]

The conception of the app arose in a weekly gathering between the three founders of what later became Gogolook, who at the moment took time off their day jobs to work on various app ideas over the weekends and their free time. During the gathering, one of the founders received a telephone call, and promptly asked the others to do a quick search of the incoming unknown number online, hoping for a search result, either from a forum or a business page so he can prepare himself for the call, or choose to ignore it. This got them all wondering if an app that did just that was feasible.[2]

The first version of the app was launched in August 2010, and still one of several apps by the part-timers at the moment got off to a slow start. It eventually gained some traction and propelled itself into the limelight when Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, on a visit to Taiwan, mentioned the app, Whoscall, by name. “An app called Whoscall tells you who a strange numbers’ from. It’s fast growing… and its from Taiwan.”[3]

In 2013, Whoscall was selected as Google Play’s Best Apps of 2013 in 8 countries across Asia.[4] At the same time, it received an initial funding from Trinity Investment Corporation and other angel investors.[5] In the end of the year Whoscall had a buyout by Korea Internet Service Company NHN株式會社 with NT 529 million dollars.

Whoscall IOS version was launched in December, 2014. In 2015, Whoscall official website has been completely updated to provide search services for number searching. In the same time, Whoscall officially launched a beta test of Whoscall Card and also released Whoscall Featured and Whoscall Dialer Shortcuts. At the end of 2015, Whoscall announced the upgrade of three major functions - Whoscall Card, Mobile Directory, and Whoscall Featured. And it soon became the user’s personal call manager.

In 2016, Whoscall has fully upgraded both Whoscall Card and IOS version, which introduces instant caller identification and new blocking features. In the end of 2016, Whoscall global downloads has exceeded 50 million, identifying billions of times each month.

On July 18, 2017, Whoscall signed an MOU with the Korean Financial Management Association. Then the company launched an online shopping reporting system against the fraud. In October, Whoscall released Playbook, an advanced searching feature providing not only caller identification but also store information. So far Whoscall has over 60 million users around the world and now specializing in AI R&D.

Features[edit]

  • Instant Caller Identification, which helps users identify incoming callers that are not in contact lists, allowing users the time to prepare for important business calls or ignore unwanted calls.
  • Number and Keyword Block, allows users to block numbers with a single button at a calls end. They may also choose to blog keywords in tags, such as blocking all numbers that contain the word Bank in its search results, all numbers that begin with 081, or all international numbers amongst many other options.
  • ShowCard, which allows users to add business profile to the platform, and shows their information on other users' phone.
  • Number Management, helps users group numbers in categories that are otherwise unavailable to them with the native OS. This allows for a separate list of contacts or acquaintances that users may not want to save in your phone’s contact lists.
  • Offline Database, lets users search for numbers even without being connected to the Internet. This also yields lightning fast search results. It is an optional free downloadable feature.
  • Lightning Identification, accelerates identification for thousands of popular telemarketing and store numbers.

ShowCard[edit]

The Whoscall ShowCard was released as Beta in v4.3. It allows users to customize their outgoing call screens. Users can edit their personal or business names, along with descriptions such as business address, business hours or photos to be shown to be shown as his or her ShowCard. This info will be shown in all outgoing calls as it rings on screen of the receiving end. When the call ends, the receiver, through the call end dialogue, may also choose to view more information regarding the number.

Accolades and reception[edit]

Whoscall has been featured in several prominent international media including TechCrunch,[6] TechinAsia,[7] and e27.[8] It is highly regarded with overwhelming positive reviews and holds an average of 4.4 star ratings on the Google Play Store.[9]

In 2013, Google Play Taiwan awarded whoscall with its 2013 Innovation Awards.

In the same year, whoscall was awarded as Google Play’s Best Apps of the Year in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

In 2015, Whoscall won the 2015 App Store featured.

In the next year, Whoscall became 2016 Google Play featured, and was awarded as the most popular app in Google Store

In 2017, Whoscall was chosen by Google as a successful case study on the event Google I/O 2017.[10]

Notable events[edit]

In November 2011, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, on a visit to Taiwan, mentioned the app, Whoscall, by name. “An app called Whoscall tells you who a strange numbers’ from. It’s fast growing… and its from Taiwan.”[11]

On May 20, 2014, during the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou's address to the nation marking his 6th year in office, he mentions Gogolook by name, and refers to it as an example of the creativity and potential of the youth of Taiwan.[12]

In April 2014, there were growing concerns regarding Whoscall's privacy issues prompting public figures to take to the press cases where their public records including home telephone numbers and addresses showing up on incoming calling screens. Gogolook swiftly came out with a statement that they never collected nor stored any personal information on their servers, let alone make them publicly available.[13] It was soon discovered that the personal information of said public figures were leaked from government servers with poor security that made it available through search engines where Gogolook sources some of their information from. Whoscall was promptly lauded as not only a call screen for telemarketers but also a reliable reminder for the possible dissemination of your personal information.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "台製防詐App WhosCall傲國際". 蘋果日報. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  2. ^ Chen, Liz. "不明來電走著瞧——WhosCall 幕後團隊專訪". www.inside.com.tw/. Inside. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  3. ^ Startup World Staff. "Taiwanese Startup Brings WhosCall Mobile App to the Middle East Market". www.mystartupworld.com/. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  4. ^ "The Best Apps of 2013". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  5. ^ Global Brain. "The Global Brain Alliance Forum: Highlights from the pitches and panels in Tokyo". thebridge.jp/. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  6. ^ Shu, Catherine (7 June 2013). "Call-filtering App WhosCall Now Available To Help iPhone Users Avoid Spam Calls". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  7. ^ Horwitz, Josh (9 Jan 2014). "Japanese messenger introduces Line Whoscall, a service to track and block unwanted phone calls". TechinAsia. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  8. ^ beSUCCESS (3 March 2014). "Korean mobile app Whoscall has helped over 10M people block spam". e27. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  9. ^ Google. "whoscall- Caller ID&Block". play.google.com/. Google Play. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Google Analytics for Firebase: Overview and Updates (Google I/O '17)".
  11. ^ Startup World Staff. "Taiwanese Startup Brings WhosCall Mobile App to the Middle East Market". www.mystartupworld.com/. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  12. ^ Office of the President. "總統主持520 就職六週年記者會". www.president.gov.tw. Office of the President. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  13. ^ 蔡智銘; 葉濬明. "LINE whoscall很會找 名人個資全洩". AppleDailydate=18 February 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  14. ^ 生活中心 (19 February 2014). "輸入電話=肉搜?LINE whoscall太強大 個資全曝光". ETToday. Retrieved 15 October 2014.