It’s always better to put a face with a name, right? Video calling – either online or via mobile phone – can offer a more personal way of communicating. Although video calling has been around (in one form or another) for some time, two of the biggest online companies have teamed up to offer an integrated approach. Earlier this month, Facebook announced a deal with Skype, which would allow users to video chat right on Facebook. This could be a great benefit for some businesses.
Facebook and Skype are introducing video calling to its user base of over 750 million people. It seems that society may soon be getting back to a style of communication that allows us to talk to people both audibly and visually, rather than only relying on either text or voice. This also means that online video messages are no longer restricted to a one-way street of communication.
In certain situations, it can be much more beneficial to have the ability to see facial expressions and body language. With Skype integration, businesses have the opportunity to make real time calls to answer customer queries, hold meetings with clients and coworkers, or even interview potential job applicants.
There are a few things to consider before using video calling for business purposes. First, you must break through the initial discomfort (yourself or your users). Before making video calling a part of your business model, you must be able to answer these questions: 1) Who will you call: out-of-office team members, vendors, and/or clients? 2) Why would a video call be the better option versus a normal phone call, e-mail or text?
There will soon be a gigantic increase in the number of video chat users. But for the most part, consumers will be using it for personal reasons: keeping in touch with long distance friends, families and significant others. For businesses to use this for their own benefit, the challenge will be to find a way to provide purpose and meaning to a video call.
When will the Video Calling feature be available on Facebook? You’ll have to ask them.
In the meantime, we can only imagine what video chatting will be like in the future, now that we have 3D mobile phones on the market already. It truly is an exciting time for communication technology!