This post was originally written by Kerry Sugrue, former Social Media Specialist at Apartments.com.
Earlier today Mark Zuckerberg was joined by Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, for their most recent product announcement. As I’m sure you can guess from this partnership, Facebook is launching video calling today powered by Skype. During the Q&A sessions following their live announcement, both Bates and Zuckerberg avoided questions about what’s in it for Skype? But Bates assured listeners that the long-term partnership outweighs the possibility of losing Skype users to Facebook.
During the demonstration, Facebook’s Product Manager for video calling said “your least technical friend can now use video chat.” Everything from the download of the plugin to launching the chat feature has been streamlined by Facebook to make it as simple as possible. So if your grandma is on Facebook, you can expect to get a video call any day now!
This highly anticipated announcement came with two others: group chat and a new design for friends on chat. Group chat will act as an ad hoc way to form groups on Facebook, which users find time consuming. If you include a friend who is not currently available for chat in on your conversation, they will receive a transcribed summary of it later in their inbox (since the chat feature is an extension of the inbox). The new design for friends on chat will be more of a buddy list window and will function for users whose screen is wide enough. This change is meant to make it easier for users (of which there are now 750 million) to find their chat function.
Group chat is the only one of these products currently available on mobile devices, but as smartphones evolve I’m sure we will see more of Facebook’s innovative features available.
Would you use any of these features to connect with your residents? Maybe group chat with all of the residents in one apartment unit simultaneously? What other ideas do you have?