As was widely expected, social networking giant Facebook have announced a partnership with Microsoft owned Skype to add a video chat to its services.
This move had been predicted by many following Facebook Mark Zuckerberg’s comments last week that there would be an ‘awesome’ product announcement coming up.
The deal should come as no real surprise as Skype owners Microsoft are major shareholders in Facebook, and it is thought that they have come together in an attempt to fend off Google’s new social network, Google+.
The Facebook service will allow two users to hold face to face video discussions, and whilst Google+ allows multiple user video chats, Zuckerberg said it was very possible that more ‘premium’ Skype functions would be added in the future.
He also offered a ‘back handed’ compliment to the newest competition, saying that Google+ was simply a vindication of Facebook’s own vision for a social web.
It was also revealed during the announcement – possibly in a show of strength to Google – that Facebook’s user numbers are now around a staggering 750million mark, meaning around 1/9th of the planets population have an account on the social network.
Zuckerberg did show some modesty however saying that the user numbers were no longer a measure of success, and that more focus should be put on the amount of activity such as sharing of videos, photos and web links.
The announcement of video chat has also been welcomed by industry analysts, with many saying the move will impress advertisers as the video chat means people will stay on Facebook longer, and increase the chance of clicking an advertisement.
As the battle continues to hot up in the social networking world, it will be extremely interesting to see what effect the video chat functionality has on user numbers, and to see which company make the next move.
For more information regarding getting your business onto Facebook and Social Media Marketing in general, please call the Dijitul Team on 01623 650333.