Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Marketers: Why You, Too, Should Be Excited About Facebook Video Calling

The tech world and beyond gathered Wednesday for another big Facebook platform announcement. The social network announced three major new features: group chat, a new chat design, and video calling with Skype. More information on the features can be found on Facebook's blog.

Naturally, at Buddy Media, we are interested in the potential opportunities for brands. As of now, don't believe all that you read: there are none.

As a Facebook spokesperson told ClickZ, "Marketers can't video call people who like their Pages and can't group chat with fans. Also ... Facebook ads can't be targeted to private information such as chat and messages."

However, here is what brand marketers and agencies should be excited about from Wednesday's announcement.

Social Sharing

Before Mark Zuckerberg announced these new features, he laid out Facebook's view on where social media is going. "Social networking is at an inflection point now," he said, noting that the big theme used to be about connecting people. "That's interesting," he said, but, "that chapter is more or less done at this point. Now the world general believes [social software] will be everywhere."

That is one of the reasons Facebook did not formally announce that it had recently reached 750 million users. This figure was reported recently, but only formally acknowledged by Zuckerberg yesterday.

"Driving the narrative for next five years is...what kind of cool stuff and what kind of new social apps you're going to build now that you have this kind of social infrastructure in place," he said. In other words: social media is everywhere. We're mostly all already connected. Now it's about what we do with the social graph.

Another major point of the narrative is the rate at which people are sharing. People are sharing twice as much on Facebook today as a year ago, according to Zuckerberg. Four billion "things" are shared every day on Facebook, and Zuckerberg said he expected that number to double year over year.

Social Infrastructure

Finally, one of the most interesting points made was that Facebook continues to be laser focused on "social infrastructure," while allowing the applications and features to be built and owned by others. "It's important to leave all the different apps to the entrepreneurs and companies that are best in class at building these things. We're different from other Internet companies out there that want to do everything for themselves. We believe that entrepreneurs that focus on one specific thing will always do better than companies that do a million different things," said Zuck.

In a world where many platforms are looking to build relationships with developers, those are reassuring words to the developer community.

Read more: The Finer Etiquette Points Of Now-Ubiquitous Video Chat

Michael is currently Chairman and CEO of Buddy Media, Inc., a New York-based company whose Facebook management system, the Buddy Media Platform, is used by eight out of the top ten global advertisers. Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four successful internet-based media companies. He has a passion for creating, managing and growing companies from the ground up.

Add New Comment


  • Freddy Nager

    I've read this article three times, and I've yet to find ANYTHING that tells me why we marketers should be excited about Facebook video calling.

    So people are talking to each other face to face. What else is new?

  • eva trexler-green

    I've only been working online for about 18 months - It's been some ride! one thing puzzles me reading the fantastic news about video skyping. That's news? I video-skyped last year with the Philippine outsources - so now we can video conference - so what - that's not new either. What is new , is the 720 million face-bookers. Strangely enough - oor maybe I've been out of the loop, I haven't heard of anyone who has been asking how much or how little the "people" like or dislike Facebook. There might be an even more interesting number than all of the marketing -numbers people imagine.
    As far as I can see, from the consumer's point of view, the "likes" and "shares" are fluff - more like some one asking in passing: "how're you doing" - expecting the rhetoric answer "fine , thanks -you?"

    We face-bookers , know what "like" means to us. It's like saying -  I agree - NOT "I want to buy". The "share" also doesn't mean " you must have or buy  - it's more like "obligatory" - "I can't deal with this right now, can't rescue an animal, not interested...but maybe you are...much like moving things from one desk to someone else's" "here- you deal with it".

    Did Zuckerman or - who came up with the buttons, think that people may attach any number of meanings and by no "means"  the ones he attaches, or wants "the market" to think it has..

    Has anyone asked facebookers how they LIKED facebook? Really? As many times as people have been blocked for no apparent's impossible to even find rules  - and had to deal with discontinued conversations - and furthermore - no idea of the length of "blockage". I was blocked personally - twice, from facebook in it's entirety and from my own messages. The first time we were told someone from Florida (we are in NC) hacked my account - not anyone else's in the household - it happened to be our ISP - the one which supplies all computers here. Facebook did not "believe" or recognize" my answer to my secret question -  Finally facebook, again  - out of the blue opened my account again, but would not let me change the secret question. I can wait for the next time, when it won't recognize the same answer.

    Facebook has endless bugs in their system, and never anyone too talk to. A company with communication systems for people which itself does not know how t communicate?

    The last time I was blocked and had a warning sign pop up saying that i was blocked for an unknown amount of time - because I was spamming my own messages - I was in a discussion with several people. Are we allowed to only speak with three or two or 15 others? No-one knows.
    What I would like to raise awareness of, is the general dissatisfaction of  people who are using facebook on a regular basis as means of communicating with groups they are associated with. That's why we use facebook.

    I have not heard one - nor ONE single person say - Oh how I love facebook. Zuckerman and his companay keeps stepping heavily on toes in the way they treat their members, and the out cry and stories we hear when someone was blocked again or kicked out again, and the me too -- me too - and know one to talk to - to get things straightened out - the  utter disgruntlement - Zuckerman is not hearing, just as he is not hearing what "we" say about his company while he is bathing in nothing but fluff.

    Today - the buzz about google was loud and clear - the question - of what google may be doing, is doing - is there a way out - someone else letting us connect, soo we don't have to deal with facebook anymore? The me too, me too, too someone who had information to give about google, in the hope that some other company may apply some logical communication savvy to allow people across the world to communicate.

    Oh - one last thing - skype sells phone numbers? Have you seen the prices. Why would anyone  - with cell phone or without for that matter -  want to buy a skype phone number? You can call anyone in the world (just about) for $30 a month - free phone number - or even unlimited calls for $50, $60 bucks a year. Now skype  wants to make service expensive again? LOL that's another company that has no ...customer service - together with facebook  - OMG what a disaster. That's more frustration than consumers will want to handle - time could be extremely ripe for another - any - company to realize that without treating your customers right - you may no have any. left afer a while . they can leave faster than they came, Mr.Zuckerman


    OnLine Marketing is such a piece of cake-My company has NO Debt and is cash flow positive. When I started online there was not even a Netscape browser. Took hours to download a 30 sec. video. For those companies out there that are LOSING $$ online-I laugh at you...If you can't make money online with all the FREE tools available, maybe you ought to just throw in the towel? Or, throw your towel on the Beach next to mine and pick my brain for ideas on how to turn your disastrous results into positive territory.