Google Hangout vs Facebook Video Chat
Online social networks are becoming the most poplar method of interaction between users on the internet. Facebook is the most popular online social network with over 750+ million users worldwide. Google very recently came up with their own social network, Google+, which is supposed to be a direct competitor of Facebook. Google+’s many features are very similar to Facebook, so it is not estimated to become a Facebook killer. However, the video chat features offered by Google+, Google+ Hangout is said to attract many users due to its group chatting ability. But, around the same time (at which Google+ was announced), Facebook partnered with Skype (who is now owned by Microsoft), and now Facebook offers the Facebook Video Chat feature (Skype-powered video calling), hoping to negate the impact claimed to create by the novelty of Google+ Hangout feature.
What is Facebook Video Chat?
Facebook (Skype) video chat does not offer group chat capabilities. The reason put forward by Facebook for opting out of group chat is that one-to-one video chat is more popular on Skype compared to group chat (but group chat in Skype is a paid product and that could be a reason for this lack of popularity as well). Because Skype is reluctant to remove the pay barrier for the premium user (in order to use group chat), it will take a considerable amount of time when Facebook adds group video chat to the Facebook Video Chat. But if you maintain a list of all your fiends on the Facebook (i.e. all your friends are using Facebook), then the Facebook Video Chat is the best option for a one-to-one video chat, specially since you don’t have to download the Skype client or register for Skype (and you can initiate the call from either your home page or the profile page of the friend you want to chat with). However, Facebook Video Chat does not work with mobile phones yet.
What is Google Hangout?
Google+ Hangout is a video calling feature, which offers group chat capability. It is free for all the Facebook users. Up to 10 people are able to join a single Hangout group chat session. Google has developed this in such a way that the video stream is automatically focused on to the person currently talking. Depending on the features it provides, this is ideal for a group chat with friends or a serious team call at the office. But it may not be ideal for one-on-one video chats due to the slightly complex setup and steps involved (such as sending invites). Instead, Google video call feature can be used for one-to-one video chats (which works very similar to Skype and Facebook video calls). Google have not developed a mobile application for Google+ Hangout yet.
What is the difference between Google Hangout and Facebook Video Chat?
Google+ Hangout offers a group video chat, but Facebook Video Chat is only a one-to-one video chat. However, in terms of usability, Facebook Video Chat is less complex for one-to-one video chat than Google+ Hangout (you can still use Google video call for one-to-one video calls). Google+ Hangout is better for people trying to have a relaxed conversion with lots of friends or a very serious team call. But an advantage of Facebook Video Chat is that it allows users to use the Skype video chat service anonymously, and even without installing the client. However both hangout and video chat require you to install a small plugging at the very first time you make a call. A significant limitation of Facebook Video Chat is, if you have a Facebook account and your friend has only a Skype account, you can’t use Facebook Video Chat to communicate. But, most importantly, prior to Skype integration, Facebook did not have a video chat feature at all.