At the Facebook news conference, a reporter asked Mark Zuckerberg what he thought of Google+. Zuckerberg responded by saying that lots of companies are going to build things like video chat, but Facebook competitors also have to build up their social graph first. Facebook’s job is to just keep innovating. It’s a perfectly reasonable response, and of course, he’s exactly right—the challenge is to get the user base, and make it easy for them to use your product. Done and done for Facebook. The integration looks great.
Do we really need another social network? Can Google+ offer a service that Facebook does not? While you wait for the chance to see for yourself, take a look at this slideshow to learn how Facebook and Google+ compare.
The new deal between Skype and the social network does more than batter Google—it finally turns Facebook from a website into a telecommunications giant On Wednesday Facebook and Skype announced that you can now make free video calls to friends in Facebook. It radically simplifies the process of conducting video conversations and will enable even the most gadget-challenged to use this sophisticated modern technology. And it points toward a near future when Facebook becomes even more embedded into the fabric of modern life.
Last night I had my first experience with Google+ Hangout, the video chat feature that allows up to 10 people to talk simultaneously. Bradley Horowitz (pictured below in the big window) announced a public Hangout and very quickly the room filled up. People were waiting in line to get in.
Mark Zuckerberg Confirms 750 Million Users, Launches Video and Group Chat. At Facebook announcement, founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the world's largest social network has grown even larger, to 750 million users. With so many users, Zuck said it's time to give them more to do on Facebook, so the company also unveiled two new features: group chat and video calls.
One of the questions I had when I broke the news last week about the Facebook/Skype partnership: Would group video chat be part of the product, and if so would it be free?
The answer is no, there’s no group chat. Facebook says that one on one video chat is far more popular on Skype than group chat and so it makes sense to start there. But that’s misdirection – group chat on Skype requires that at least one user be paying $4.49/month for premium service. So not a lot of group video chat happens on Skype.
With the new “Hangout” feature, the Phandroid team tested out something we’ve wanted to do for a LONG time: video podcasting. The main thing holding us back in the past was a simple technology to get the job done. Well, check out what we were able to accomplish with Google+.
Google’s senior executives — long dismissive of the idea of importance of social to search — were contrite during their briefing earlier this week. “It is about time we have come to the realization,” said Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product with Google, “If you don’t know people, then you can’t organize the information for people.”
Google’s realization — however late – that it needs to use social, location and other signals to enhance its core search platform is welcome. “Google needs to understand these relationships and basically use those to make search better,” said Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president for Social in an hour-long briefing earlier this week.