Facebook recently announced the following:
- Group chat – basically the chat feature you already know and are used to, now with multiple users.
- A new design to display a buddy list if you have the browser width (most do).
- Video calling via Skype, but does not require the user to install Skype. Requires two click to set up, one click once it’s been done.
Maybe I’m just too technical, but none of that seems awesome to me. Gmail’s video chat always seemed superior to Skype to me. Now if they could do group video calling I’d be impressed and that would indeed be awesome. In the Q&A they clarified that group video calling is not possible yet, but hope for the future. Also clarified that you must accept a call before it will turn your camera on.
They basically side stepped any questions about Google and how this is helpful for Skype from a business perspective. For Skype all that was said was “Possibility of having Skype pay products as part of it”. The purchase of Skype by Microsoft was something that made Facebook feel really confident with the partnership.
Mobile will not video yet, but the group chat will be possible for mobile. This is funny since Zuckerberg called mobile the second biggest driver behind the growth in sharing.
The one thing that I found really interesting was that Zuckerberg sort of dissed the idea of placing users into groups saying that most people don’t do that. This is basically the concept behind Google Circles in Google+.