Today Facebook held a live session to announce their integration with Skype to enable video calling between users, presumably as a quick retaliation against Google+’s advanced video calling technology.
There were a few twists in the online session (around 54,000 people were simultaneously watching) delivered by Mark Zuckerberg and Tony Bates (CEO of Skype):
- Half of all Skype traffic is video. This is misleading because video traffic is about 50 times the size of audio traffic (the number of kilobytes across the network). It would be more interesting to know how many calls are video calls compared to audio calls.
- Facebook chose to partner with Skype because companies are only good at what they focus on, rather than being able to do everything. A direct strike against Google. The first question after the presentation was about Google+ (just someone trying to be smart – it really wasn’t a clever or memorable question) and Zuckerberg just answered that Skype would enable hundreds of millions of users to video call one another.
- The integration with Facebook is… unknown. When asked how Facebook will look when someone tries video calling you, Zuckerberg answered “you go to the page and something pops up”. Hmmmmm.
- When asked what’s the financial incentive for Skype, Bates dodged the question and just answered that he wants a billion people on Skype. That’s useless if none of them are paying anything though.
When the camera panned to the audience – all the audience were on their laptops, presumably tweeting. And nothing annoys me more than people who constantly tweet at conferences. How do they listen to (and understand) what is going on?
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most influential people over the course of the Internet, and his live audience in the room weren’t even looking at him – see the photo above. Six months ago when Mark Zuckerberg spoke, the room paid him 100% attention and thought he was the greatest thing since the Google search engine.