Facebook Becomes Your Phone Company | Story | POWERWALL
July 7, 2011 1 Comment
On Wednesday Facebook and Skype announced that you can now make free video calls to friends in Facebook. It radically simplifies the process of conducting video conversations and will enable even the most gadget-challenged to use this sophisticated modern technology. And it points toward a near future when Facebook becomes even more embedded into the fabric of modern life.
Bing even more:
Facebook and Skype are natural partners. Facebook operates what is essentially a directory of humanity—an index of 750 million people identified by their real names and photos. (CEO Mark Zuckerberg today confirmed that figure for the first time.) Skype, for its part, operates the largest network for online voice and video calling. Doesn’t it make sense to combine them to create a better way to find the people we want to talk to?
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz used to rant against something he calls “representational identity”—associating people with numbers, for example, instead of their names. Why should I have to keep track of someone’s home number, cell number, work number, Skype address, email address, IM account, Twitter name, and all the other ways they have to label themselves? Why shouldn’t we instead be able to simply click on our friend’s name and connect to them? That is the breakthrough today’s Facebook-Skype announcement points toward, though it by no means gets us all the way there.
After today’s announcement, representatives of Skype gave Business Insider the news that the next move for the Skype-Facebook partnership will be to enable you to dial any offline phone number from inside Facebook. This again will make unnecessary the downloads of Skype software and setting up of accounts, which has been required up to now and which surely deterred many millions from trying this useful service. And here Skype will begin to see a financial benefit from its partnership with Facebook. While the new video chat feature is free and is not even branded “Skype,” it will cost money to dial a regular phone from inside Facebook, just as Skype today charges a few pennies a minute for dialing outside numbers using its regular service. Facebook will likely require users to pay with the internal Facebook currency it calls Credits, bolstering that product’s usefulness.more
Another inevitable development in the near-term will be enabling us to make voice or vid