The Social Networking Race Continues
Posted by Dave Thomas on July 8, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice, Business Technology, Business Video, Social Networking [ 2 Comments ]
Following his “big” announcement earlier this week regarding Skype video chat, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg may have thought that he was setting the social networking business world on fire. Well, more like a brush fire if you will.
To most who follow the technology arena, Zuckerberg’s announcement about Facebook and Skype teaming up for video chat was about as surprising as the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west.
Granted, the newest addition to Facebook will likely drive more traffic to a site that promotes the fact that it has some 750 million active users. That being said, video chat is obviously not something new to many computer geeks, so why all the mystery by the billionaire CEO leading up to the announcement at company headquarters?
To quote Zuckerberg, Facebook views itself as the social “infrastructure” of the Web. It sees the greatest innovation coming not from inside its own walls, but from others that construct apps that leverage that infrastructure.
What appears to be being built in the technology world is an ensuing power struggle between Microsoft, Facebook and Google.
If regulators give their approval, Microsoft, which is invested in Facebook, will take over ownership of Skype. In professional wrestling rings – this would be viewed as a handicap match – Microsoft and Facebook teaming up against Google.
Google, meantime, which dominates Internet search with a major grasp on two-thirds of the U.S. market, recently announced the unveiling of its new social networking service, Google+ (Google Plus). The tool is designed to do something that Facebook cannot, give users privacy.
With Google+, users can share things with a smaller number of friends, including group video chats. Group video chats….where have we recently heard that term? Yes, both Google and Facebook are banking on the idea that video chats are the direction to go in.
Google+ is also geared to provide recommendations of related videos and articles a user may enjoy, along with giving them the option to upload video straight to the service.
Another feature of the service called “Sparks” looks to make things simpler when it comes to locating online content one cares about. Users can then share this with friends who might also take an interest in it.
For now, Google+ will only be available to a select number of users; however those individuals will have the option of inviting others to the dance.
In a prepared statement related to Google’s announcement, Facebook noted that “we’re in the early days of making the web more social, and there are opportunities for innovation everywhere.”
While they do not have the name recognition and reach of a Google or Facebook, you can bet there are others out there working feverishly to see how they can carve out their piece of the social networking pie.
But before companies invest countless dollars and manpower to those efforts, keep one thing in mind. Google is not going to become a major social networking player anytime soon, just as Facebook will not be known as a prime search engine tool.
While I think trying to be innovative is great, oftentimes it is better to stick to what you do best and look to improve on that, instead of jumping into someone else’s arena of expertise (cough, cough Google).
Photo credit: Thechromesource.com