Facebook Announcement Does Not Deliver
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, announced that Facebook will partner with Skype to bring video calling capabilities to it’s users. This is on the heels of Google’s announcement of Google+(Google's answer to Facebook), which is bringing group video chat capabilities to the social networking universe with Hangout. Facebook's parntership with Skype wasn’t the best kept secret on the blogosphere and it certainly doesn’t wow, falling very short of 'awesome'. While watching the press conference a thought kept racing through my mind, “Maybe Mark is going to pull an Apple and offer us ‘One More Thing’.” This turned out to be wishful thinking, as the best we got was video calling.
There is a ton of potential with video calling in Facebook, but one can’t help but wonder, “What took so long?” There was a simlar feeling when Apple introduced multi-tasking to the iPhone. There are no groundbreaking technological advances, it’s just something that should have been.
The second part of this “awesome” announcement, which also fails to impress, is group chat. This is another feature, while nice, should have been available a long time ago. AOL had this feature available to me as high school student 12 years ago, at a time when I was waxing my 56.6K modem trying to make it go faster. Maybe the old tricks are the best tricks, but this one is a little late to the party.
Google+ has these features built-in pre-launch, which tells us one thing, Facebook is trying to keep up with a social networking platform that has yet to debut to the public. If Facebook had integrated these features years ago they could have coined cool names like “Huddle” and “Hangout” before Google did, instead they are going to call it “group chat” and “video calling.” As of the press conference there is no branding of these new features, which could hurt Facebook in the long run. In today’s hyperactive marketplace if there is no branding products are as good as dead. However, Facebook has survived without these features, doing very well for itself. Mark Zuckerberg, at the beginning of his press conference, announced that Facebook now has 750 million registered users, but was quick to mention that his company doesn't focus on that number becasuse it is “not a metric worth tracking.”Continued on the next page