Facebook links with Skype

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Tony Bates of SkypeFacebook las launched a tie-in with Skype so that members can video chat with each other, at an event launched by Skype CEO Tony Bates and his Facebook counterpart Mark Zuckerberg (both pictured).
Several commentators have suggested this will be seen as "a shot across the bows" of Google with the Google+ launch last week also containing video chat (that's a quote from the BBC's website).

To which I would say "yeah, right, they sewed this one up in ten days, no due diligence or technical issues, just put it together".

Market readiness

It's much more likely that the market is simply ready for video conferencing so the service providers are going to start falling over themselves to offer it.

Google offered the idea last week, it's true, but Apple has been offering instant messaging and more recently Facetime services for everyone on its me.com network (formerly Mac.com) for quite some time. The new version of Microsoft Office, Office 365, also has a video conferencing element - and how long has your laptop had a camera you barely use?

In fact the real import of the announcement in the longer term passed all but unnoticed, when Zuckerberg confirmed his view that the number of Facebook customers no longer mattered, what mattered was the level of engagement and amount of interesting comment they shared once on the site.

Which is precisely what a number of social networking commentators have been saying for a good while now.

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