Battle Of The Social Media Giants
Once upon a time every and their brother was trying to create the perfect browser. Companies were suing each other, battling each other for creative talent and spending copious amounts of cash to be the King of the Browser.
Today we all use whatever browser is handy at the moment and don’t usually give it a second thought.
Social Media Wars
You don’t have to look very far to find the current battlefield of technology. It’s social media. Google+ launched this past week and Facebook has surely been watching their progress closely. Facebook right now has more members than most countries have population, at 750 million. Google is intending to unite all its holdings, like Blogger, Picasa and YouTube to make it the social media umbrella for everyone to cower under. Facebook, which just bought Skype, this week announced its new video chat feature. Not quite earth shaking, but a serious move nonetheless.
The Winner Is…
Nobody can predict who will ultimately win the battle of the social media giants, but it seems a safe bet to predict that the wars will continue until we’re all so bored with them we move on to the Next Big Thing…whatever THAT may be.
Forget the browser wars. Social media is the new hot zone. A week after Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) introduced its Google+ social platform, Facebook fired back yesterday with a video messaging service built on Skype.
The idea is simple and in many ways compelling. Choose a contact from your list of friends and click on the video icon in the upper right corner of their page. Here’s a closer look at how it works. As you’ll see, there isn’t much difference between initiating a call and starting a text chat:
Skype and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) stand to be the big winners here, since it’s Skype technology being used to power conversations and Mr. Softy, as owner, gets to collect whatever spoils come from the arrangement.
But if you’re Google, don’t you also have to love how quickly you’ve turned the tables on your chief rival? Google+ includes a video chatting service called Hangouts where it’s possible to visually (ahem) “hang out” with as many Google+ connections you can find.
To be fair, video calling isn’t new. Skype has had it for years, as has Vonage (NYSE: VG ) . Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) , meanwhile, has a Mac-specific service called FaceTime while 8×8 (Nasdaq: EGHT ) has built a small business telephony suite that includes video conferencing, voice mail, call forwarding, and just about anything else you can think of.
So why do Hangouts and Facebook Video Calling matter? Pervasiveness. More people are connected via Facebook and Google services than any of the alternatives you see above. More friends mean more interactions, and more interactions feed a desire for more interactive features, such as video calling.
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