Canadian mobile telecommunications company Fongo Inc. has launched a new program that will allow its users to create customizable skins for its app.

Branded as “Fongo Faces,” the program allows users to play with text, colour swatches, images, videos and social media to create customized templates for Fongo. It is available for download today.

The Fongo app, which has been downloaded more than 250,000 times in Canada, allows users to make free calls and texts using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology within its coverage area. While users still need to pay for a data plan to use VoiP, Fongo says its app is a game-changer and a much cheaper alternative to paying for airtime with large telecommunications companies.

Companies, charities, bands, school teams, universities and basically any individual can design their own skins to promote their brand. A fan of a particular organization can then download the Fongo Face from the organization’s personalized Web page and apply it to their Fongo app.

“We’re giving your phone a face, we’re giving the Fongo app a face,” said Fongo president Dave Bullock. “[That affects] the look and feel that come with your Fongo app. So the social media, the video content, all the extras that get pulled in can now be a reflection of the causes, or the passions, or the brands that mean something to you.”

Fongo already has a number of churches, charities and sports clubs signing on to use the program as a way to share their content. But Fongo Faces is also a great way to boost Fongo’s own reputation, Bullock said.

“Last year, we launched with Dell Canada and Dell Voice, and it was tremendously popular,” he said. “But [our users were] a demographic of people who the Dell brand means something to, business professionals.”

“So the Faces initiative is really about expanding those brands a thousand-fold. Hey, if you’re a 16-year-old kid who’s really into electronic music … now we’re going to have a Fongo Faces offering that is right up your alley.”

Fongo made headlines at the end of March when it offered to buy wireless carrier Wind Mobile’s Canadian operations for $1, plus a 49 per cent equity stake in Fongo. While Bullock said that offer was genuine, he added the company is still working towards getting its own data network, although no details have been finalized yet. Fongo’s end goal would be to offer customers data plans for $15 a month, putting it at the low end of the pricing spectrum.

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