Apple’s FaceTime is getting some competition, or are they? With promises of an “awesome new product”, Facebook held an event today to announce their integration with Skype.
With the insistence that Facebook is merely a strong foundation upon which other subject matter experts can contribute and build, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, proudly showed off the addition of video chatting to their existing chat interface.
The beauty of the integration is that there are no external apps required. You are already connected to your friends, it seems a natural extension to be able to video call them with the click of a button. This kind of simplicity should make it easy for everybody to use… in theory.
While this appears to compete directly with Apple’s FaceTime on the surface, with the additional news that this feature is currently not available for use on mobile devices, that doesn’t seem very likely. What I do believe is that this is a starting point and may indicate the potential for Facebook to survive even longer on top of the social networking world.
Along with the announcement of the Skype integration, revamps for the chat and friends list interfaces were also announced. This news just begins what Zuckerberg is calling the “launching season” of 2011. Other announcements expected soon include the addition of an iPad specific Facebook app as well as “Project Spartan” which is rumored to be an HTML5-driven mobile application platform designed to bring Flash-free, HTML 5 driven games to iOS and Android devices.
Am I the only one who finds it interesting that Microsoft recently purchased Skype, but the demonstration today was conducted on a Mac?