What Does Google 'Hangouts,; Facebook Skype Video Conferencing, Mean for Business Video Communications?

By Gary Kim July 07, 2011

Facebook is integrating Skype video chat into its social network, after Google's "Hangouts" introduced what might be the easiest video conferencing feature yet to be made available to the great mass of regular online users.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said Wednesday his company will offer users the ability to chat one-on-one with their Facebook friends, only a week after Google debuted "Hangouts." Read more here. (Wall Street Journal subscription required).

Facebook's Skype app does not include the ability for users to conduct group video chats.

But Google Hangouts isn’t as good for one on one conversations.

Google’s new hangout product is all about group chat, and it’s free. Up to ten people can use it at once. More here.

Consumer grade tools, it has to be said, often do not meet enterprise or large organization requirements. But you have to wonder whether the Facebook and Google moves will have any impact, positive or negative, on enterprise and large organization thinking and spending on video communications.

One might guess small businesses, as often is the case, might find the capabilities useful. Again, it isn't clear whether that competes with other business class services or creates a compelling new habit that actually spurs adoption of business tools.

It does seem highly possible that Google's features will undermine Skype's effort to get customers to pay a premium for group video chats.

"Hangout is already impressive and has proven to be among Google+'s best features during its extremely short existence," says J.P. Mangalindan, Fortune reporter. Read more here.

Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Editor

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