Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network giant plans to launch something awesome next week, possibly in response to the Google+ release earlier this week.
Facebook's Seattle branch has developed something new and exciting which will relate to mobile devices. One speculation has it that the new Facebook iPad app could be one of the company's next big offering along with video conferencing features.
Video conference is a hot feature on Google+. It will be no surprise if Facebook responds with a version of their own.
Google+ allows up to 10 people per video conference session in its 'Hangout' feature, but that may increase as Google investigates offerings for corporate and business webinar services. All users are visually displayed and based on the volume of its loudest speaker, that user would take center spot in the conversation.
Currently third party apps can be used on Facebook to allow video conferencing. Apps such as 360mate and RealNetwork's Socialeyes allow for up to 10 users to video conference together. It would be interesting to see if Facebook will be rolling out their official video conferencing function. If the two giants were to focus more on enhancing online video conference, and offering it for free, we can expect to see services such as GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Skype group video calls take a hit.
Facebook may also be releasing their anticipated and overdue app for Apple iPad and iPad 2 next week. The Facebook iPad app hopes to continue on its hugely successful iPhone app by offering more enhanced functions in the tablet version.
Rather than a resized version of the iPhone app running on iPad, Facebook's Zuckerberg and his team have placed interest in testing optimizing, and developing key functions that specifically works with the tablets larger screen display and faster hardware. This could mean enhanced Groups and Chat features related to a new video conferencing feature that utilizes iPad's camera and 3G or Wifi connection. According to The New York Times, a redesigned Facebook website may accompany the new iPad app release.
Facebook's iPad app can expect to bring in additional mobile device users to counter the Google+ app that is already in the Android market. The user experience on mobile devices will be key in both Facebook and Google+ services. Facebook holds a huge advantage with a large follower base in both the Android and Apple mobile OS. The Google+ is expected to offer an iOS native app in the near future.
Google's latest jump into the social network market with Google+ has received acclaim for the useful and novel features Google+ offers. Australian internet marketer James Schramko, an early adopter, found Google+ to be promising and describes the unique approach it took in solving problems Facebook currently holds.
It looks promising. There's another feature called Sparks which looks like an advertising / data profiling / content platform though I haven't really had time to study it in detail, yet. It's the end of day one, and so far everything is looking good. I'm sure there'll be more features soon and I look forward to the reaction from Facebook. Whether Google+ will turn Facebook into another MySpace remains to be seen, said Schramko.
The Google+ website allows for more natural communications and freedom in customizing a social network experience. Account holders can create groups of friends and select the level of control of content sharing. Through the Circles of friends, users can communicate as much or as little as they want, giving more flexibility and privacy control compared to Facebook.
Facebook weaknesses have been on the clunky privacy options and limited controls for groups. Google, in its blog, has indirectly focused on Facebook's social networking features, criticizing them for giving their users a sloppy, scary, and insensitive experience.
Can Zuckerberg's announcement next week be a sign of redemption that will make it difficult for Google+ to climb up the social network market ladder?