Live Faces On Facebook.

07/13 2011

A meager week after Google launched its very own video-chat functionality called Google+, Facebook announced it would be integrating Skype into its growing list of services. Was it a copycat move? Well, contrary to popular belief, it actually wasn’t. The Facebook/Skype partnership was made months ago, and in the time since, Facebook has been focusing on building its user base to its current number: an astounding estimated 750 million users. But now the time has arrived to bring the Skype stepsister into play.

When news of Facebook’s video-chat debut crept into my view online, I experienced a pretty split opinion between excitement, and almost indifference. It’s been an expected addition to the social media giant’s repertoire, but it’s also yet another step toward our increasingly digital world. As brand representatives, it is our job to think interactively on behalf of our clients. And this new technology (free technology, by the way) is just one more way for ad peeps like me to help brands connect to their consumers home and abroad.

So how can this new feature be used? I’m thinking by breaking cultural boundaries, that’s how. We can quite literally introduce brand fans to each other, face to face, from over seas and country. We can connect real life, human service reps to customers in need of fast, effective advice or assistance. We can break down parts of the mystery and anonymity of the online world. We can, quite literally, put a face to the brand.

Ten years ago, if someone had said people would be able to have a social network online where they can video-chat with each other from anywhere in the world, they would have received a face full of laughs. But with the pace of technology today, there’s no telling what will come next, and that’s exactly why we’re bracing for the next door to open soon. 3D, perhaps? Or maybe smell or touch functionality? How about some sort of hyper-realistic virtual reality or the next step in voice identification. My mind is definitely buzzing…how ’bout you?