Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced today that there are going to be a few changes to Facebook. The big story is that Facebook has teamed up with Skype to deliver video chat so that you can talk to your friends through Facebook. This is no surprise considering the partnerships Facebook has forged within the past 5 years. If you recall, Microsoft bought a small stake in Facebook for $240 million in 2007. This past May, Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion. You would imagine that Microsoft would utilize one of their largest assets to help power one of their best investments.
Interestingly enough, these past few weeks have become a Social Media showdown. First, the announcement of MySpace being purchased for $35 million (possibly less) by Specific Media and Golden Gate Capital, which was an expensive loss for News Corp. After Justin Timberlake successfully brought "Sexy Back," he's going to try to bring MySpace back utilizing the power of the music section. MySpace was originally purchased by News Corp. for $580 million. News Corp was hoping to take a $480 billion loss, but unfortunately, that too is a steep price to pay for a dying social media champion.
We then had the private launch of Google+, which everyone, wants to get their hands on. Google+ looks almost exactly the same as Facebook. From a distance, I can't tell the difference. It has that feel that we've all come to know and love. The big deal about Google+ is that you can video conference with up to 10 different people at a time. Also included is the ability to divide your friends into groups by simply clicking and dragging them in as if they were a file on a desktop.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg stole the stage and made his own big announcement. Not only will you be able to video chat on Facebook, but the chat itself is going to be totally revamped allowing you to access the people you talk with easier. Alongside with that, you'll be able to create group chats instantly without having to create a group. Essentially, communicating on Facebook will be more intuitive as well as entertaining. Video chat will probably become one of the most important features on Facebook in coming years. Facebook currently has 750 million members.
As far as the bottom line is concerned, there are no plans to make money off the video chat feature. This will be a concern in the future because it will be very expensive for them to support all the bandwidth and overhead costs associated with all the streaming video pouring in and out of the site. Nonetheless, the amount of content being contributed to Facebook has doubled since last year and the experts at Facebook claim that it will double again by next year. We'll see how long this video feature lasts before it too becomes monetized.
You can read more about the new Facebook features on The Facebook Blog: https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=10150223135777131