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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facebook Gets Video, Google Gets Pretty

Posted by Paul Constant on Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 2:03 PM

As This Is My Next reports, Facebook just announced that they're adding Skype to their chat options, allowing you to video chat with your Facebook friends. (Facebook didn't announce that they're making it harder to export your friends' information to, say, Google+. I'm sure that must've been some kind of an oversight.)

I'm still enjoying Google+, although the sparse population continues to be a problem when it comes to things like, oh, say, trying out the Hangout feature, which allows you to video chat with up to ten people at once. (My profile is here.) It really does look like Google is reworking the company from the ground up to push their social media site: Rumors broke yesterday that they were going to rename their Picasa and Blogger services into more brand-friendly Google Photos and Google Blogs. And the redesigned Calendar and Gmail pages are beautiful.

This makeover is no doubt intended to deflect complaints that Google has become too fragmented and aimless, and it's probably preparing the public for tight integration between Google+ and all the Google services. Google has to work cautiously, here, to avoid another Buzz fiasco; they can't just suddenly dump everything in one bucket or else the media will declare them to be bad on privacy. But if they redesign everything and introduce services to Google+ slowly and transparently, they'll be able to woo the public that way. I think the biggest change at Google over the last six months must have been in the marketing department.

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