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Facebook Announcement Today: Video Calling and More

Picture of Jocelyn Rimbey, Digital Marketing Manager

Jocelyn Rimbey, Digital Marketing Manager

Facebook Video ChatToday, Mark Zuckerberg took the stage (or the screen, if you will) to announce some changes to the Facebook platform. As they continue to reach huge user numbers (750 million to be exact), the world’s largest social networking site is looking to change gears in the way they manage their business.

While Facebook user numbers are huge, actual growth has plateaued a bit. But while that has slowed, sharing is growing faster than ever. Zuck shared that users are sharing 2x more this year than the year before, and he expects that trend to continue exponentially. This trend isn’t strictly Facebook, however. Sharing with others is growing across the entire Internet (that social feature that we are so fond of). This being the case, Zuckerberg wants to build off of his existing and strong social infrastructure to create apps that are socially enabled. The following three things are the start of this process.

1. Group Chat

Group Chat is the first feature that Zuckerberg announced today. This is a simple change to the chat platform they already have in existence. Over 50% of users already use groups, but it wasn’t easy to chat with a random group of 4 or 5 of your friends effortlessly. The option will now exist in the chat window: just click “chat,” “add people to group,” and voila! If you add friends who are online, you can chat immediately. If not, they will receive a summary of the chat the next time they sign on.

2. New Design

New Chat Design was the second feature that will be rolled out starting today. Zuckerberg didn’t give too many details to what this would actually look like, but he mentioned that chat will now take browser size into account. Organization of friends (online vs. offline) will also change.

3. Video Calling

Video Calling is the third and most important announcement today. Facebook has partnered with Skype to allow seamless and easy integration of video chatting into the Facebook platform. It will act much like Skype, only the process will be simplified. Users will be able to download the app easily and quickly (under 30 seconds) and call other users online. From how it sounds, it won’t matter if users are tech saavy or not.

These three changes are small but influential for the social networking site. It marks the start of Facebook partnering with other companies, as well as taking their focus off of growth and onto expanding the share-ability on their site. We foresee Facebook continuing in its dominance, especially with their unique ability to recognize trends and know what users want.

What do you think of the changes? Will you be using the video call feature?

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