Google+ Puts Facebook on the Defensive and in Partnership with Skype

July 6, 2011 — Leave a comment

Google+ has only been out in the wild for a week, and even then it hasn’t really been in the “wild” considering invites have been closed for days now. That hasn’t stopped Facebook from realizing the potential of the Google+ system, and more importantly its so-called “killer app”, Hangouts. Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be partnering with Skype to provide video chat right through the website, using a simple plug-in. This is not far off from what Google+ currently offers with its Hangouts feature, and I’m sure Facebook hopes this addition will slow, or even kill any momentum or buzz Google’s new social network has picked up. For now, Facebook and Skype will only offer one-to-one video chatting, though I’m sure we can expect multi-user capabilities in the future, otherwise it’s not exactly on par with Google+.

Along with the Skype video chat, Facebook has also introduced group chat, which allows groups of people to, well… chat. Simple enough, but a feature that’s been a long time coming and welcome now that it’s here.

Finally, Facebook has also announced that the entire chat interface will have a new design to better incorporate these new features.

What’s clear in all of this is that despite the official status as king of the social networking world, with over 750 million users, Facebook sees the heat of competition coming its way. As long as that means new features and more innovation, that can only be a good thing for everybody.


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