Presumably, it’s entirely coincidental that this launch has come mere days after Google launched its own attempt at social networking, Google+. And while the Facebook/Skype version is one-on-one, Google+ also features a video calling function, called ‘Hangout’, which allows users to do group video calls and has already received plenty of positive reviews from users. So, arguably, Google has got one up on Facebook already. One for Mark Zuckerberg et al to watch out for, wethinks.
Despite Facebook’s lateness to the video chat party, though, analysts seem impressed with the new offering, on the basis that anything that increases the amount of time people spend on Facebook (currently a very respectable 31 minutes, according to Alexa) will make advertisers even happier.
And that’s not the only technology partnership making the headlines: Virgin Media and Spotify have also announced a tie-up. The music streaming service has just landed a deal to sell its (ad-free) subscriptions via Virgin Media, giving Spotify the chance to target the latter’s 4m customers – who have already given an indication they’re happy to pay for TV and broadband. It’s exciting stuff for the music streaming service, putting it on the path to competing with Apple’s iTunes.
Spotify also hinted in a blog that it was planning on a launch in the US ‘soon’. It’s good news for the service, as well as US music lovers, who have been campaigning for a launch across the pond for a while. Although we would warn them that the novelty of that ‘Hi, I’m Adam from Spod-efy’ ad will wear off fast...