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The Facebook vs. Google Saga Continues

DATE PUBLISHED: September 01, 2011
So, the biggest news for Facebook fans this week brings bad news for the new Google+. That news, of course, is that Facebook is teaming up with Skype – the mega brand of Internet calling. And it’s bad news for Google+ because Facebook has the resources to take away all the hoopla Google+ created when it was announced a short while back.

Here’s the combination: Facebook users will be able to use Skype to video chat with other Facebook users – on Skype! So let’s say you browse over to a friend’s profile, you’ll see a new button between “Message” and “Poke” that says, “Call.” Click it, and the other user will get a note asking if they want to accept a call. Bingo! You’re immediately connected to one another. Of course – you’ll have to have a plug-in installed for this to work.

It’s also available in Facebook’s Chat. Facebook is putting up a new chat sidebar that will prompt you to make a video call or send a video message. This is a really big deal! As a Facebook user, you won’t have to create a new Skype account to make calls, and the install and set up only takes a few minutes.

Of course, video chatting has been available for a while. Apple FaceTime and a variety of instant messaging services have had it, as has Skype. But this “marriage” between Skype and Facebook opens a whole new playing field.

So why is it bad for Goggle+? Well, if you haven’t noticed, Google+ has a video chat feature. Ah ha! And while Google+ includes a video chat feature that supports group chats, Facebook doesn’t – yet. But you can count on it coming soon! Right now one-to-one calling makes up the majority of video calling, but in the very near future, that’s going to change.

Here’s another thing to remember: Microsoft is rapidly closing in on purchasing Skype – an acquisition that will cost a paltry $8.5 billion (that’s with a “B”). So the ties between Facebook and Microsoft will be stronger – and that’s an alliance that could challenge Google+ - and Google in general, which Microsoft has been trying to do forever in the search arena. Unsuccessfully, I might add, up to now.

So, if you’re in business and you’re using Facebook – which of course you should be! – how will this impact you?

Good question! The only problem is there is no clear-cut answer just yet. But if you use your imagination for a minute, you can see that the possibilities are endless. Group video chats with fans of your business page? Wow! You’ll be able to send video clips, show commercials designed just for Facebook, give a personality to your business by using a spokesperson on video. The list goes on and on, and the potential impact on your business is huge. But don’t forget, this is all down the road. It just reinforces why businesses must become involved with social media, and why they need to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

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