In a world where new technology thrives, where innovation is something that drives consumers to want products, what Facebook has recently presented us is, in essence, a polished turd.
And it’s certainly not innovative. Whereas previous functions, namely the ‘like’ button, have created new ways for us to interact with Facebook and the web, the combination of Skype and Facebook simply makes it more convenient for us to communicate with friends over Facebook.
Should we care about partnerships? Yes. Their aim is to make our lives less frustrating. That’s what Facebook and Skype (and in turn, Microsoft) are aiming to do.
But ultimately, it doesn’t change anything. Am I excited that I’ll be able to easily Skype with my friends through Facebook, and vice-versa? Sure, it’s a fun little novelty. But beyond that? It adds little convenience to my life. The people I already want to speak with over Skype I’m already friends with within the Skype application.
Companies should be trying to find new ways to attract consumers that don’t already exist. Partnerships are cool, definitely, but things like the Facebook like-button, Skype video chat — new ways to engage people that are already consumers of their products — are what keep technology and true innovation alive.
Facebook uniting with Skype doesn’t present a new way to look at something. It’s simply a boring approach towards pseudo-innovation. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hopes that the partnership will result in the combination of the “best technology that’s out there for doing video chat with the best social infrastructure that’s out there, in order to create some really cool new scenarios.”
But even Zuckerberg is probably having trouble figuring out just what, exactly, those ‘cool new scenarios’ are going to be.