Facebook mimicking the coolest feature on Google+
In my previous blog post, I mentioned one of the coolest features about Google+ that would set it apart from Facebook, video chatting. Now, Facebook has partnered with Skype to bring us Facebook Video chatting. The good part about Facebook and Skype is that you do not have to have a separate login to connect to your Skype account. Google+ requires the user to sign up for Google Voice and download a video plugin to start a hangout. These extra steps in Google+ could be a hassle to some, and drop Google+ approval rating compared to Facebook.
It is no surprise to me that Facebook has integrated Skype to rival Google+, considering Mark Zuckerburg was one of the first people to be able to test Google+. Was this a mistake for Google+, or a smart marketing ploy to show that they are on the forefront of the social media game? Or not? Facebook has already had a video chat app since 2010 called Tinychat. This gives you the ability to pick one or more people to chat with face to face. It has over 2 million followers, so why didn’t this ever become the “next best thing”? Is it because Facebook did not aggressively promote the app or is it simply because people prefer to remain mysterious when they write their updates? The real difference between the marketing positions after Google+ are that the video chat is being marketed to businesses more that just people. This brings a real value to the product, especially since before Google+, business video chatting was not free. But will businesses take Google+ as a professional business product to communicate with not only their customers, but also other business professionals? Would you hold an important business meeting on Google+ or Facebook that could potentially bring your company millions of dollars? Hey guys, join my circle!
Another question is, what does this mean for smartphones? Since there are now so many ways to video chat from your computer, which one will be more popular, smartphones or desktops? I still think smartphones have the upper hand in this scenario because they are portable and you do not have to be sitting in front of your computer or laptop all the time. Most people carry their cellphones with them everywhere. The only exception may be that IPad users could have the best of both worlds. They can portably chat on Facebook/Google+ and video chat with a caller, I need one of those….