Facebook Announces New Skype-Powered Video Chat
Facebook and Skype, Together at Last
Yesterday Facebook unveiled its “awesome” new video chat, powered by Skype. Skype-managed video chat has been in the rumor mill for quite some time, and now we finally get to see it in person!
Grouped with the new video chat comes a redesigned Facebook chat system featuring a sidebar for the friends you chat with most.
Facebook chat also now allows for group chats, allowing users to easily communicate with multiple friends at once.
Facebook Video Chat vs. Google Hangouts
Facebook’s new video chat feature arrives on the tailwinds of Google+ with its own Hangouts feature.
How do they compare?
Well, Hangouts allows video chatting with up to 10 people, while Facebook keeps it to one on one.
Zuckerberg points out that most people use Skype for one-on-one chats, but we should keep in mind Skype is used for personal and professional uses. I would think that a site as innately social as Facebook would want to cater to the social aspect of video calls. In the social possibilities of video calls, group chat certainly should be considered.
Many have been trying to compare the new Facebook video chat with Google Hangouts to decide which is better. Some claim that a comparison can’t be made, as the products don’t overlap; Facebook chat is for one-on-one chatting, while Hangouts is designed for groups.
Others argue differently. Marshall Kirkpatrick from Read Write Web notes that it isn’t all that difficult to use Google Hangouts for one-on-one chatting, and allowing the possibility for group chatting is a big advantage.
This is just one of many weapons that Google Plus will bring to the battle against Facebook, but I think it's an important one. The ability to watch YouTube videos together, to do quick, free, multi-person video calls, and to collaborate with small groups - I think those are going to be important features that Facebook just won't offer for some time.
What do you think? Is there a clear winner between Facebook’s video chat and Google’s Hangouts?