Facebook announced a new feature on Facebook using Skype for video calling your Facebook friends. This feature looks like the Microsoft Lync / OCS that I use in the office to communicate with my co-workers. Maybe Facebook will let you share desktops like you can in live meeting.
One problem with the new service is that you cannot call People on Skype even if you have Skype software loaded on your computer. Facebook video calling is strictly Facebook friend to Facebook friend. And you can’t call Facebook members who are not your friends.
During the announcement, Mark Zuckerburg talked about how people are willing to share more now and how apps are going to be important. I wonder if people get tired of sharing so much and having other people so involved in their lives that they stop sharing everything and smaller private groups form. Maybe just on wireless phone networks?
Facebook is banking on the fact that users today do not want to configure things themselves. They prefer to have everything just happen by pushing a button. According to Facebook you won’t need a Skype account to use the new video chat so “this is by far the easiest way to get connected by video”.
This is similar to what Bill Gates talked about at Convergence back in 2006 where he said “there is a missing piece of software that we’re working on that takes the idea of who’s trying to get in touch with you, either calling you or sending mail to you, and it makes it very easy for you to say, OK, what group are they in, and so the idea of how you respond to that is context-based, it understands what you’re doing, what device you have, what your calendar looks like. “
We are getting closer to the point where any software component can talk to any other software component, without caring about the language it’s written in or what operating system or what hardware it’s on; as long as it’s connected to the Internet.