For several years, I’ve been claiming that the creation of vernacular videos for conversation and small audience sharing would become an important part of our lives. The playful use of video on YouTube and in increasing integration of video options into chat or personal communications exchanges are just two signs of this wave and change.
This week, we’ve seen the most ambitious bets placed on video communications in quite a while. First, Google Plus’ HangOut and today Facebook+Skype’s Video Calling. The two services are decidedly not equal. HangOut is more full featured while Facebook Video Chat has dropped many of the nice to have Skype features.
|Feature||Google +||Skype (native)||Facebook+Skype|
|Max. number of participants||up to 10||pay for up to 10||one on one only|
|Sharing other feeds||YouTube videos||Screens, Documents etc||nothing|
|Phone sharing||Android devices now; iPhone app in process||most smartphones||not that I can see|
|IMishness while on video||Gtalk||yes in client||Facebook Chat|
|Offer to connect*||Active + Passive||Active (call) + Passive (Skype Me)||Active (message)|
|Architecture||Hub and Spoke||Point to point or Originator as hub||Unclear at present|
|platforms||Windows XP+, Mac OS X 10.5+, or Linux||same 3||Ubuntu folks are complaining|
*By “Passive”, I mean that you can declare a HangOut to any Circle of friends who can join in as they choose by clicking a button on their activity stream. By “Active”, I mean you call, message, or send an alert to someone in particular asking them to join you. I didn’t imagine that One On One would often be “Passive” but then I realized that “Skype Me” as a status might be considered a “Passive” invite.