Liveblog: Skype-Powered Facebook Video Chat Announcement

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Late last week reports began to circulate that Facebook would be engaging in a more in-depth partnership with Skype to offer in-browser video chat. Well the speculation is now over, and the rumors were true… Facebook is getting Skype-powered video chat.

If you’re interested in specific features and interesting tidbits about the partnership, I’ll be live-blogging them below. (Please excuse the typos, I’ll clean them up after the announcement concludes).

– Event / announcement has started.
– Zucks has a pretty hot purple laptop.
– Interesting fact, sharing is growing faster than user growth.
– Another fact: 4 billion things shared every day
– Group Chat, New Design, Video Calling has now been announced

– Video calling is being powered by Skype
– 50% of people on Facebook use Groups
– Zucks hands off the announcement to the lead developer
– Facebook is rolling out an expanded chat window
– Today they’re rolling out video calling
– On to the demo of video calling, with Phillip from the Seattle Facebook office
– If your friend is online, with one click on the video call button you can video chat with them
– Start a video call button is being added to the chat window

– They’re now talking about what into making in simplistic for all users
– Downloads should happen within the browser within 30 seconds with 2 clicks
– Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, is now taking the stage
– Skype traffic is 50% video calling
– They began thinking about how to deep integrate the two services together
– Skype loves the partnership, and they have a shared vision
– “We’re talking about potentially having Skype paid products within the web format we’re discussing today” – Skype CEO
– Zucks is going back over the three new / re-done chat elements

– First question is what do they think of Google+ hangouts
– Zucks says that he’s not going to talk much about Google+, since no one has spent much time on it.
– Skype paid products within Facebook will be coming in the future
– Skye’s not worried about losing traffic to Facebook
– No mobile integration yet… breath a sigh of relief carriers
– Question: any revenue sharing? Answer: This is the same free Skype service they offer… so there is no revenue to speak of, respectively
– Question: What is the overlap between Skype and Facebook… this stumped everyone, as they don’t track this data at this time.
– Tony is quick to correct Zucks about Skype not being owned by Microsoft yet – deal is subject to regulatory approval
– Facebook has focused on Groups, they found the majority of users didn’t want to take enough time to configure stuff for themselves.
– Apps is the biggest trend / driver for Facebook – with mobile being the second
– With that the event is over.
– Now they’re showing an advertisement for Skype powered video chat
– numerous languages being featured, even sign language – nice touch
– “Facebook + Skype” closes out the advertisement