Does Facebook’s deal with Skype sound the death knell for the written word

The recent launch of Google+ and Facebook’s alliance with Skype has shone the spotlight back onto social media’s ‘forgotten friend’ — live video streaming.

Google+ alone has attracted almost 20 million registered users over the past month, making it the fastest growing social network. The headline number is even more impressive when you take into account Google+ is a closed public beta launch, so the only way to register is via an invitation from another user.

And given its global user-base of 750 million subscribers, the Facebook / Skype deal has the potential to radically shake-up and popularise the video calling market. Facebook+Skype is not just entering a market, but it has the potential of opening the video calling market on a much larger scale than it has been so far.

Collectively, these two developments represent a tipping point in the resurgence of live broadcasting — two key movements that between them highlight the genre’s move back into the mainstream.

Until now, the chosen medium of communication across the web has been the written word. But the technical barriers that had, up until now, prevented live broadcasting from becoming as popular as instant messaging or texting are falling away.

Currently, the text-dominated platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly the alpha males of social networking. But from this point in time, we’ll see a consistent change in their dynamics, as increasing numbers of users shift towards video broadcasting.

Facebook and Google obviously recognised this challenge and have taken significant action to ensure they’re part of this ongoing change — not merely reacting to it.

Live web broadcasting is not a new idea, but the moves by Facebook and Google reinforce the inevitability of the social media market evolving from written words to visual communication.

They are the first substantial steps on a journey that will bring about unprecedented levels of innovation in the communication market. Their move into this brave new world will drive creativity as third-party providers — striving to distinguish themselves from their rivals — will soon begin producing and supplying a range of services to enhance and add to the value of our live, digital video experiences.

With the live broadcasting rapidly moving into the mainstream, it’s set to grow exponentially and become the fastest growing social phenomenon in the coming years. It’s currently about one to one communication primarily — but services offering one to one are growing exponentially as well, and will soon be part of service mix.

At the moment, the written word is definitely the king of the social network jungle. But it’s important to remember a picture paints a thousand words.

Phones Review would like to say a big thanks to Hans Eriksson, Executive Chairman of Bambuser for the information provided above.

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