After showing up about 15 minutes late and talking about “inflection points,” “log normalized graphs” and “Moore’s Law” (you don’t want to know), Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg finally got to the point and made his “awesome announcement”: the roll out of group chat (hey, AOL was ahead of its time), a revamped chat design (which looks suspiciously like an AIM buddy list) and — DRUMROLL — video calling in conjunction with Skype.
According to Zuckerberg, users will be able to video chat after downloading a teensy plug-in starting Wednesday (July 6). Apparently this will be an improvement over Skype itself because users don’t all have to have downloaded and installed Skype’s proprietary software.
This is great news for one of Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto, Calif., neighbors — and, presumably, other average shmos — who was apparently angling for a video chat feature but unwilling to take the time to learn the highly technical Skype system that, we’re led to believe, was limited only to tech savvy super-users.
“I was walking around the block this morning and I have this neighbor who is 70 or 80 years old and he’s always doing yard work,” said Zuckerberg during the live Facebook event. “And he said ‘I heard you’re announcing something today. I hope it’s video chat — I really want to chat with my grandson.'”
And — blizzam — just like that, Zuckerberg makes it happen. Welcome to the brave new world, people.