Like online instant messaging but hate its impersonal nature? In a live broadcast from Facebook’s headquarters this past Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network will offer video calling integrated into its existing chat service. Based on Skype technology (which in the process of being acquired by Microsoft), the integration is being seen as a move to rival Google’s new Google+ social networking service, featuring ‘Hangouts,’ its version of video calling.
The new video calling feature “will support traditional person-to-person calls but not multi-person group chats,” says the Financial Post. However, Wednesday’s announcement also included a new feature that will support group chatting for text-based messaging. Given the success and popularity of Skype and other video chat technology, like Face Time for the iPhone, the move seems like the next logical step in improving social interaction on Facebook. Although it has been in the works for over 6 months, its launch time coincides with the buzz surrounding Google+. While the service isn’t available to all just yet, it is scheduled to be rolled out in 70 different languages to all of Facebook’s approximately 750 million users over the coming weeks. Programmers made the integration as simple as possible for users, who can initiate a video call by simply selecting the ‘video call’ button at the top of a Facebook Chat window. “Facebook Chat’s interface underwent a redesign to accommodate video calling. It now includes a sidebar listing each users most common chatting partners that automatically appears if the user’s Web browser window is wide enough.”
The technology behind Google+ Hangouts has already received many accolades, and when Zuckerberg was asked whether or not Facebook would be adding multi-user video calling, he replied with, “Anything is possible.” As the Facebook vs. Google rivalry rages on, we remain fascinated spectators enjoying the fruits of each multi-billion dollar company’s labor. As the king of social networks expands its services and new users sign up seemingly by the second, the value of Facebook marketing has never been more apparent. If you are interested in launching your social media marketing campaign, contact Blue Interactive Agency today by calling 954-779-2801!