The press invitations to that event went out on July 1st, saying “Please join us for an event at Facebook” on July 6.
According to a source, Facebook will launch a new video chat product, powered by Skype, that works in browser. Suddenly those chat icons in the invitation have a lot more meaning.
The product has been built on Skype and will include a desktop component. It’s not very clear though as to whether that means it will just work if a user has Skype already installed on the computer, or if additional software will need to be downloaded even if the user already uses Skype. But it’s clear that there’s very deep integration between the products, and from the user’s perspective, the product will be an in browser experience.
But this is something else entirely. The partnership could substantially increase Skype usage. Facebook has more than 750 million active users. Currently Skype has just 170 million. And it will certainly help Facebook become even stickier for users as they start to have voice and video chat as an option to communicate.
Google+, the search giant’s answer to Facebook, also launched with a group video chat feature, Google+ Hangouts. Google is seeing a lot of traction with the feature, but if Facebook can release a video chat product, Google+ Hangouts may not seem as revolutionary.