facebook's another shot to google+...
Facebook unveils video chatting, thanks to Skype
Facebook and Skype have inked a deal that will bring video chatting to the world's largest social network.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company was planning to launch "something awesome" today. As early rumors speculated, Skype video calling turned out to be that big announcement.
Video calling has been built into Facebook's chat platform. Users need only to click the video call button at the top of their chat window in order to start communicating over video--once the call recipient accepts the video request. According to Facebook, video chatting is just "two clicks away" on the service.
That level of ease is something that Facebook and Skype seem focused on with their new deal. The social network said its video calling is "the easiest way to get connected with video."
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. If the companies secure regulatory approval, Skype CEO Tony Bates will lead the new Microsoft Skype division. Zuckerberg said today that the acquisition would not "change anything" related to video calling on Facebook.
Facebook is being rolled out in 70 different languages starting today, and will be available to all of its 750 million active users "over the next few weeks."
Facebook and Google+'s video chat tools compared
Video chat is the big thing again, at least according to Facebook, which let loose a new video chat service yesterday. Powered by Skype, the new feature lets Facebook users start video calls with one another while continuing to use the site.
While other video chat tools may have been built on top of Facebook's application platform, this now comes out of the box for Facebook users, old and new. The result is that Facebook's added yet another way for its 750 million users to communicate with one another.
But moving beyond the hype, the big thing you're probably wondering is how this new service stacks up to the groovy video chat tools found in Google+, the social network Google recently launched as a "field trial" (see CNET's hands-on). One of its crowning features, besides providing an alternative to Facebook, is that you can video chat with your friends in multiple ways. How do the two compare? The short of it is that Facebook is simpler to use. The longer answer is that you might be happier with Google in day-to-day use.
To help illustrate that, I've delved into some things you might want to do with these services to see how they really compare. The best way to do that is with common scenarios you'd run into when wanting to video chat with someone else. Below are five I ran into when putting both services through their paces (Google+ over the past week, and Facebook's all of today).
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