In a press conference at the company’s California headquarters yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, unveiled the video calling and group chat capabilities.
The announcements come nearly a week after Zuckerberg teased that the company was working on an “awesome” event.
“The video calling is so great and it’s so easy,” said Zuckerberg, who today also confirmed reports that Facebook has surpassed 750 million users. “Your least-technical friend is going to be able to get online with video chat and get connected. You’ll connect with your friends on the social network that already has all your friends.”
Zuckerberg’s statement, along with the new group video chat capabilities, both strike at Google, which just last week unveiled the Google+ social network that will compete with Facebook. Google+ includes a feature called Hangouts, which is akin to a video conference call.
Skype could be a useful and interesting partner for Facebook, especially with its impending $8.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Analysts have noted that in scooping up Skype, Microsoft can put the screws to Google, which reportedly had been interested in buying the company.
And analysts also noted that the purchase could benefit Facebook, also an increasing competitor for Google, over the long run.