Video Calling: Social Media's Battleground

Video calling is the newest battleground between Google and Facebook, as the two tech giants angle to become the place where you identify yourself online and connect with friends.

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. 

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