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Skype / video chat on Facebook – coming soon!

The Refresh PR team loves Facebook for so many different reasons, none more so than because it’s constantly changing, evolving and a company that can truly say it’s innovating.  Today Facebook announced three major changes which will begin rolling out immediately to everyone's accounts.


The changes are based on a sound grounding too. Since it was developed, social networking has been about connecting people together and this will continue – Facebook knows that its users will grow and grow (it’s now up to 750 MILLION users).  In addition, it doesn’t see the value of measuring the number of users either, in fact what is instead important is the number of people who are interacting on Facebook, and how they interact.


Facebook knows we like to share things.  Four billion things are shared on Facebook every day.  We are now sharing twice as much information on Facebook as we did this time last if Facebook provides us with new ways to share things, will we share even more?  Of course we will!!


So what’s new?


GROUP CHAT:  Half of all Facebook users are a member of a Group, whether it’s a Group planning someone’s birthday, or something bigger.  The average number of people in a Group is seven – people like Groups as it makes it easy to organise an event or chat to close friends privately.


To make it easy to communicate with several different people at the same time, rather than having to start a Group, we are now going to be able to do this through chat.  On the chat tab, with one click, we will all be able to select several people to add to a conversation and message them all instantly – at the moment we can only chat to one person at a time.  Everyone selected will see the chat thread instantly and those offline will receive a summary of the conversation when they log in.  This begins rolling out today so watch out for it soon.


NEW DESIGN FOR CHAT: Chat is one of the most loved features on Facebook with billions of messages being sent each day.  The new design will take into account browser size and show all friends - together with the ones who are chatted to most often (so not just those online) - making it quicker to strike up a conversation.  The new design will also have space for more features which will be announced in the near future.


VIDEO CALLING:  The most exciting development (in our opinion)!  Facebook has teamed up with Skype and video calling will now be possible on Facebook.  Think about the implications for this:

1.       You’re already connected to your friends – you don’t need to find out their Skype username

2.       You’re already on Facebook so in just one click you can call a friend

3.       You don’t need to log out of Facebook or go elsewhere to contact a friend...they’ve got you hooked!

4.       It connects immediately

5.       It’s easy, simple and almost anyone can use it, from teens to silver surfers

This is a massive development.  Users will be able get to video calling via any of their friends' profile pages or via a button on the chat tab.  The plug-in needed takes 20 seconds to no big software downloads are necessary.  It’s not available on mobile devices yet, but watch this space.


Skype already sees 300 million minutes of video calls per month and this will take it into the billions.  Quickly.  Skype says it’s ready and is already thinking about new products that it can bring to market on Facebook.


The changes won’t happen overnight, but what Facebook does know is that it will help us to share even more information over the social network than ever before, helping it to grow as the ‘social eco system’ it aims to be.  And there are many more apps and partnerships to come.  So it seems we’ll be sharing at least twice as much information this time next year again, if not more. 


If you’re on Skype will you switch and just use Facebook from now on?  If you see the changes, let us know what you think. 



Tagged with: F-Commerce, Facebook, Marketing, PR, Public Relations

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