There was a time when we had very limited video calling options primarily being Facetime for Apple users or if someone had Skype on their phones who has also enabled this functionality very early into its launch. With the current market dynamics and us living in an ever-changing and super fast highway lane, where we are seeing new players arising in the market at a rapid pace. Either in the form of competition or companies leading from the front with their new innovative ideas and approach towards doing business ultimately enriching their offerings/portfolios. Its almost as if even if you SNOOZE for a lit-bit you will end up on the losing side or become a mere follower in the industry.
Announced today, you can simply tap a video icon in Messenger and start chatting away face to face … through Facebook. So many faces. Video calling through Messenger is rolling out now in the US, UK and several other countries with wider availability in the coming months.
Facebook’s goal is to connect people face to face no matter where they are or what mobile connection they have. With Messenger, someone on a new iPhone with strong LTE in San Francisco could video chat with someone on a low-end Android with a few bars of 3G in Nigeria.
Here is a demo video for you all to see and appreciate.
So whats next from here on, well for now Facebook believes that the video calling feature will live naturally inside the messenger. With 600 million Messenger users and 1.44 billion on Facebook, the new VOIP video feature has a massive built-in audience. Mark Zuckerberg said on last week’s Facebook earnings call that Messenger already accounts for 10% of global mobile VOIP calls. He believes free, high audio quality VOIP will displace traditional phone calling, and video calling could accelerate that.Messenger has no plans to charge for audio or video calling.
One of the logical ways that Telcos should respond and react to all this happening around them is to build on top of the OTT boom by seeing them are extensions and partnering with them instead of viewing them in the traditional sense of direct threat or competition. Seeking synergies with them in the early stages will be a win-win situation to both sides and is the only amicable options for the traditional telco giants to be honest with you. Since there is no fighting them option available to begin with – the most that Telcos will achieve by fighting them is delay their boom a little, but in doing so hurt themselves mostly.
The Telcos by partnering with the OTT players can help propagate their presence in the data world. By allowing the OTT players to use them as medium of service delivery and in doing so enhance their reach, usages and accessibility on a global scale. In doing so Telcos can continue to monetize using step charging approach and by keep rates and a bare minimum to avoid giving bill-shocks to its customers. The idea is get people into the habit of using their data networks rather than resorting to free wi-fi as a alternative option instead. Video calling and streaming means a larger chunk of the Telco bandwidth will be consumed at the end of the day, so via smart offering and through partnering and collaborating this could result in a win-win situation for both the OTT players and Telcos in the long run if managed properly.
Video calling in Messenger is launching today for people on iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. They’ll be rolling out to other regions and locales over the coming months.
One really great thing about the messenger is that it is auto-adaptive and will adjust the quality of the call according to your connection.
Stay tuned for more innovative features coming from within the OTT space of things in the near future. This is the latest feature released for Messenger, following the ability to send money to friends, the launch of Messenger Platform and the introduction of Businesses on Messenger (coming soon).