Today was Facebook’s “Awesome” Announcement Event. CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised there would be big news today and he was right. Facebook has teamed with Skype to integrate Video Calls inside Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook has reached 750 million registered users and are planning on passing 1 billion users in the near future. He also said Facebook is focusing on apps now, as that is where the industry is headed. Mobile and groups are numbers 2 and 3 on the list.
Today, Social Networking is the biggest boom on the internet. Being able to instantly communicate with family and friends, anywhere in the world, is incredible. Skype has also brought an addition to that, giving you the ability to see your friend or family member anywhere that has internet access. Now, Mark wants to bring that experience to the Social Network, giving you the ability to instantly video chat with any of your Facebook friends. The Facebook layout will include a new ‘Call’ button by the current message button, allowing you to video chat with any of your Facebook friends. Your friend on the other side will receive an alert that you want to chat, and voila! You’re video chatting!
Facebook has updated the current Groups feature, allowing you to create ad hoc groups by just selecting the friends you want to chat with and adding them to the current chat. If they are offline, they will see the transcript when they come online. The chat feature also has gotten a new sidebar, allowing you to quickly add friends and showing your most popular friends near the top.
Now, the big announcement. Skype integration! The on stage demo made this feature look extremely easy to use. Facebook said this feature will be easy enough for anyone to use, whether it be your parents or the technically challenged folks. You just go to the users profile page, hit call, and you’re connecting. The first time however, you will need to install the plugin, but then you’re ready to go. Go here for Facebook’s demo of Video Calling. He did say the Skype Integration is web only at the moment, so don’t go trying to video chat with your iPhone 4.
He then went on more about Apps, and how they will change Social Networking. He said “There are going to be a lot of apps from companies like Netflix taking advantage of social stuff”. He wants every app to be social and work on all platforms.
That’s the news. No native iPad app yet, for Facebook or Skype, but we should still see both of those soon.