My phone company wants to be a friend

My VOIP phone company (Lingo) has just announced that they are now on MySpace. I have heard of car companies doing that, but it feels rather weird when a utility company wants to do the same.

I can see two reasons they could be doing that:

  1. They are not doing too well and are getting desperate. They used to offer $25 as a referral fee and remind of it every 6 months or so. Now, it is $50 and they mention it every email they send. To me it means their cost of acquisition has gone up with more and more companies entering the VOIP provider market.
  2. They want to look hip and new and differentiated from old-school telcos. It seems to work to some degree, as they already have more than 60 friends and even some comments.

One thing for sure. They now have a public forum, where they had none before. It would be interesting to see how they will handle the first negative comment about their service. If they are really getting into MySpace for community, rather than just for the image, they will learn the lessons from other companies that had to deal with public complaints.