Do FB users WANT to see each other?
I thought the whole point of FB was to AVOID having to actually speak to, much less look at, your 'friends'.
Facebook is reportedly about to launch a new video chat product powered by Microsoft-owned Skype. The move follows on from the company founder Mark Zuckerberg's comments last week that Facebook would have an "awesome" new feature to shout about on 6 July. TechCrunch, citing an insider with knowledge of the partnership, is now …
You'd know most people on facebook are only 'friends' with people they know in real life* rather than casual internet acquaintances. The purpose being to keep in greater contact with people you may only otherwise see on a saturday night or whenever. They can also already see each other through the photos they share.
*Admittedly some of these will be through very old and spurious connections, ie "we went to the same school 16 years ago and we've never talked since but add me as a friend please".
Perhaps the tie ups with Facebook, Skype, Nokia will help wean Microsoft off of its dependency on revenues generated by the Windows platform and develop a more diverse service-oriented portfolio of income. Also perhaps an Ecosystem to rival Apple's.
All companies need competition.
Skype already has a lot of users - approaching that of facebook even, but if they effectively turn facebook friends into skype contacts, I think it could see a lot of growth in use beyond cheap international calls/etc. that it is really useful for now. The trick is the free one-click calling you'll be able to do once user connection/discovery becomes so much easier.
I got into Skype very early, so early that they had a plan that allowed me to call anywhere in the world (unlimited calls) for 22.99 USD a month flat. Just had to buy a skype number. That's a great thing about Skype, but I can't see what integrating skype with facebook will actually do except make facebook even slower than it already is.
as a public utility?
One can imagine the telcos just SCREAMING over call streaming.
Considering that this can cause a precipitous drop in long distance and toll charges income for telcos, ms may be in for more than it bargained for when at least 200 million live/active accounts holders each call 10 contacts a day -- in a 12 hour period. Even if ms can get the infrastructure lined up, those telcos involved will probably claim network overloads and find a way to charge ms a pretty penny. That'll probably lead to ms REALLY being forced to monetize facebook accounts to something more than just zynga games and selling accounts in backdoor deals to advertisers.
I at first thought the SEC, FCC, and other agencies in the USA might eventually be seen in the headlines as opposing this, but now that'll probably be a smokescreen since other strings-pulling agencies in the USA will make sure this goes though to streamline accounts monitoring. Eventually, the USA will make other nations "see the light", although their governments will probably see it as a no-brainer.
Next up: ms buys Cisco & Baidu and Alibaba buys Yahoo! (in stunning reversals and surprises...)