What's the Latest Development?
Facebook has announced it is partnering up with Skype to allow Facebook users to call each other with their camera-enabled computers. By simply clicking an icon in a friend's profile, video calling will be easier than ever. "No need to ask what their Skype or A.I.M. handle is. No one even needs a Skype account to use the feature. So long as the chat feature is decently usable, it’s hard to see how it won’t be a heavily used feature that keeps Facebookers coming back. ... Compare that to Hangout, Google’s new video chat in its still invite-only social network Google+."
What's the Big Idea?
As Google slowly rolls out its newest social media platform, Google+, Facebook announces video calling as a major new product. Though currently by invite only, Google+ has a video chat function that techies say surpasses the capabilities of Facebook/Skype's. Called Hangout, the Google+ video chat allows for group calling to encourage impromptu meet-ups between friends; the Facebook/Skype partnership only allows one-to-one interactions. That video calling is set for a boom, though the technology has existed for decades, is a testament to the ability of social media to set major trends.