Facebook Integrates Video Chat via Skype

Facebook Integrates Video Chat via Skype

Zuck and Bates

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Skype's Tony Bates announce a deal to include Skype's video conferencing into Facebook's social network. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Facebook is in the business of making connections easy. It paved the way for hundreds of millions of people around the world to connect with each other.  Mark Zuckerberg has said that the last five years have been about building the platform with their aim zeroed in on accomplishing just that. The next five years, he revealed, will be about building products and apps on top of the infrastructure that Facebook and other developers have built.

Now, Facebook has introduced its long-rumored video chat product, powered by Skype, and the tech world is abuzz with the news. Some are talking up the cool factor while others are saying that Facebook is playing catch up with Google.

However, Google’s latest addition, Google+, can easily be considered a “catch up” play to Facebook’s social networking popularity, even though Google+ launched with a free video chat feature.

With Facebook’s latest release, will Google+ Hangouts (group video chat) seem not quite so revolutionary? And, is this Facebook’s Google buzz killer?

Here we go again!

What’s really cool is that you can initiate a Facebook video chat call right from a person’s profile page or the product home page. The product seems perfect, and there’s no need to register for Skype, or download the Skype client. But (and this might be a big but), there’s no group chat feature.

So, all things considered, is Facebook video chat cool? Yes.

Is Facebook playing catch up?  Who isn’t?

Everything “web” seems to be moving at the speed of light. It’s been that way for decades. So it’s not surprising that Facebook makes major changes and additions constantly (to the usual but temporary dismay of the average user). And, it’s definitely nothing new to see the ongoing tug of war over the massive respective audiences in play.

But just how and why have Facebook, Skype and even Microsoft, become such best buds all of a sudden?

According to the New York Times (and many other media outlets and bloggers), Skype is very interested in increasing its base, currently consisting of “only” around 170 million users. Facebook offers a big helping of potential sign ups from this partnership. Skype has fees only for premium/business users, but other fees have played a key “future revenue” role that they pointed to during their IPO and buyout process.

And, when you’re talking about Microsoft’s involvement, they’re closing on its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype. Relationship solidified. Period.

My biggest question is… What’s next? Will Facebook offer group video chat and perhaps even mobile video chat? After that?

What are your thoughts? Pipe in below…

  • Sandra McFadin
    Posted at 19:29h, 07 July Reply

    Wow, exciting changes. It’s hard to keep up, but reading this blog every day sure does help keep me up with the changes, thanks Live Out Loud, I learn something new every day.

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