The Mighty Zuckerberg made an appearance today to announce the new Facebook Skype video chat feature. Possibly the worst kept secret in the digital world, video chat does bring a nice enhancement to the platform. However, haven’t I seen this somewhere else recently….
Google+ launched with the pretty cool ‘Hangouts’. Here you can video chat and, well, hangout with a few of your Google friends. Facebook say they’ve been working with Skype for a few months which makes me wonder if Google knew about this and wanted to get in there first. And in my view, they’ve produced a slicker operation.
Facebook have Group Chat and Video Calling. Yep, sounds like Hangouts. But Facebook also announced they now have 750 million users which, at the moment, Google can only dream of. (Ironically, Zuckerberg is the most popular person on Google+ right now)
At present there’s no mobile version of this new video chat but no doubt this will be integrated at some point (Skype app already has it). It all adds to the ‘sharing’ ethos.
When challenged about the Skype/Microsoft relationship, Zuckerberg commented “we have a really good relationship with Microsoft” (understatement – they’re an investor). But interestingly Skype’s comment was “We’re not part of Microsoft yet. Subject to regulatory approval”. Cold feet?
Today’s announcement is an interesting, if expected, move by Facebook. But are all social networks now just becoming a mirror to each other? It’s looking like that, but I for one don’t want to choose sides….although with 750 million users, Facebook’s gonna win.