NDG Director of Account Services
Nearly a week after the launch of the new Google + social network, Facebook has just unveiled its anticipated Skype-powered video chat feature.
Skype CEO Tony Bates described the new Facebook video feature as a “mini-Skype client”—built right into chat, easily accessible with the click of a button at the top of your chat window. And if the person you’re calling doesn’t answer, you can even leave a video message.
Unlike the Google + “Hangouts” feature, which allows up to 10 people to engage in video chat, Facebook’s video chat offers free one-on-one capability only. So why didn’t Facebook launch group video chat from the start in effort to stay head of Google +? Facebook responds that one-on-one chat on Skype is more popular; however, it’s worth noting that Skype currently charges for group chat and relies on this feature for revenue, indicating that Facebook is unlikely to offer group video chat capability anytime soon.
All in all, both social networks’ video chat features are useful for entirely different reasons: Facebook’s Skype-powered video chat is simple, direct, and easy to use, while Google + “Hangouts” offers a number of social options for connecting with various groups of friends or colleagues in different ways, in any combination you like.
Do you use video chat now? Will you be more likely to use it on Facebook or Google +? And do you anticipate incorporating this capability into your company’s public response, just as “live chat” has become a necessity for many websites? We’d love to hear your thoughts!