Facebook Gets Hangouts Through Oovoo
Google+ has one major feature that sets them apart from Facebook – the Hangout. With the recent public release of Hangouts on Air, the value is even greater. Facebook only has one-on-one video calling Skype, but a third-party application is looking to close the gap.
Meet Oovoo, a multi-user video conferencing service that is essentially a Google+ Hangout in stand-alone application form. The service lets users hold up video chats with up to 12 people, two more than what Google+ Hangouts offer. The free service is already being used by 46 million people so obviously the next step is to expand its user base.
They will be doing this through integration with Facebook. Oovoo will now have its own app on the social networking site that will allow people to hold video chats with up to 12 of their friends via Facebook. It uses the Oovoo software, but it operates within Facebook creating the illusion that Facebook has its own Hangout application.
The Facebook integration isn’t the only thing that makes it like Hangouts. The conversations can be recorded and uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The application is also available on all iOS and Android devices.
One of the more interesting things about the new Oovoo is its new feature – Call Link. With this, a user can send a chat invitation through email, text or social media. The person sent the invitation needs only click on the link and they are taken to a Web based version of Oovoo to join the chat immediately.
It’s not an official app from Facebook, but Oovoo just closed one of the few gaps that Google+ had in front of Facebook. It’s not a huge deal yet as Facebook probably won’t be displaying Oovoo prominently on the front page like Google+ does for Hangouts. It does raise the question of whether or not Facebook might target Oovoo for acquisition to take advantage of its technology. It would be a better purchase than Instagram, that’s for sure.Gigaom]