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Mobile Video Coming to Facebook via Skype?

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July 12, 2011

Mobile Video Coming to Facebook via Skype?

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


In the world of social media and mobile video, the pairing of Skype (News - Alert) and Facebook seems ideal, but will it be a reality? According to this All Facebook post, the pairing, otherwise known as Project Spartan, is alive and well. The project is expected to be ready for a public debut sometime between July 15 and August 1.


According to TechCrunch sources, this partnership is not intended to be a threat to Apple, despite press coverage last month to the contrary. Certain reports suggest that gaming will be a major part of this project, stressing that Facebook (News - Alert) partner Zygna is heavily involved in the development of the mobile video platform.

To expand on the rumors, TechCrunch was also told that Apple (News - Alert) could be willing to cede the HTML5 portion of the market if the company is granted access to the Facebook user base. The main loser is Google as developers working on Project Spartan have reportedly been told to code for the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad versions of the Safari Operating Systems.

PC World was able to get closer to the topic in this interview piece. The online magazine gained access to a demo from Skype’s product manager for the Facebook mobile video application, Mike Barnes. Adding to the expertise were Skype business manager Scott Miller and Facebook video-chat lead engineer Phillip Su.

Touted as a competitor for the Google (News - Alert)+ social networking service the company announced last week, the Facebook video-chat client will work on all browsers except Opera and will launch simply using the video-call button on a friend’s page. Calls can also be initiated from within the Facebook Chat client, and audio-only chat is also available.

According to Barnes, the video-chat feature is set to roll out to all 750 million Facebook users within the next seven to 10 days. To install and use, Facebook users simply download a small add-on program. If a user receives a call before the add-on is installed, a window will pop up to ask if the add-on program installation is desired. A “yes” click will automatically set up the call with the friend.

Barnes also shared that video chat with mobile devices is ready to add to Facebook. He indicated that both group video chat and mobile video chat will be ready to add in the future. Facebook’s Su stressed that Facebook has not yet been working on these features and that he and his team have not been designing this service exactly like that announced by Google.

Will it be a direct mobile video competition? The rapidly increasing demand for mobile video will drive this battle with users emerging ultimately as winners.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca







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