Finally, the secret is out. Surprise surprise, Facebook has launched a new chat service.
The launch comes just one week after Google launched Google+, which also features video chat. Unlike its rival, Facebook video chat (phase 1) will only be able to connect two users, where as Google+ can connect multiple users. Zuckerberg says however that ‘premium’ features are in the pipeline. It goes without saying that advertisers welcome the move, which they hope will keep Facebook users engaged and sharing on the platform for longer – providing a better promotional opportunity for advertisers.
Given that this was perhaps the worst kept secret in technology’s history, the true surprise is that that new product has been launched without any support for apps or mobile platforms – two of the social networking site’s biggest drives in the growth of sharing on Facebook. The new group chat design and Skype-powered video chat have been designed solely for web use only, and there are no immediate plans to roll the service out onto apps or mobile platforms.
For Zuckerberg however, getting people to join is no longer the sole motive of Facebook – its already omnipresent in the public, with individuals and companies alike using it as a communication tool. His desire is now to get Facebook users sharing more often and for longer, which is the truer measure of the platform’s success than mere figures.
So, it may just be the worst kept secret in the world, but what do you think of Facebook’s ‘awesome new product’? Does it make you rush to your profile with itchy fingers? Or is it a step too far in Facebook’s attempt to conquer the social networking world?