Facebook released a trio of new chat features at a press conference held in its Palo Alto headquarters. The spotlight shone brightly on Facebook's partnership with Skype and the video chat integration the companies are rolling out to Facebook users; however reporters also wanted to know what Mark Zuckerberg thinks of Google's flashy new Google+ social network, which offers a "Hangouts" feature for users to start one-on-one or group video chats.
A profile recently appeared on Google+ bearing the name "Mark Zuckerberg" and featuring a somber-faced photo of the young CEO. Though the profile isn't verified through Google+, it quickly became the most followed page on the network.
Assuming he spent some time trying out the service (or is at least familiar with it), a reporter from Mashable used Wednesday's Facebook event to ask Zuckerberg for his take on Google+. According to a "rough" transcript published on Business Insider, Zuckerberg made the following statement:
"I'm not going to say a lot about Google+, we've all only spent a little time on the service....The last five years have been about connecting people, the next five years are about connecting apps. We'll see a lot of companies who haven't looked at social begin to build it into their apps. Not just Google. Netflix is a good example, they've talked openly about wanting to be more social...I view this as validation of how this is going to play out over the next five years. Every app is going to be social. If we build the best service, there's massive value there. If we don't, somebody else will."
Facebook might be the current market leader in social networks, but Google is betting a large amount of its resources on the hunch that they can do it better.
Tom Anderson, founder and former President of MySpace chipped in his two cents about Facebook's video chat service in a post on TechCrunch writing, "[L]ots of companies are going to build things like video chat, but Facebook competitors also have to build up their social graph first. Facebook's job is to just keep innovating."
As Anderson points out, Facebook already has the largest user base on the social web and its current focus is on implementing new products and enhancing old ones into the service. Conversely, Google+ and other Facebook competitors have yet to prove that they can successfully manage the social interactions, and online lives at-large of millions of people.