Reminder: watch Facebook "launch something awesome" today

Reminder: watch Facebook "launch something awesome" today

Summary: Facebook is planning to "launch something awesome" today at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST / 6 PM GMT.

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Update: Facebook announces video calling, powered by Skype.

First, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was planning to "launch something awesome" this week. Next, Facebook e-mailed journalists (including myself) with an invitation to a Facebook Event on Wednesday July 6, 2011 (today).

Now, it's time to tune in and see what Facebook is going to reveal. Here's the only official information the company is providing:

Please join us for a product announcement LIVE from Facebook HQ. Tune in to Facebook Live (http://on.fb.me/facebookhq) on Wednesday, July 6 at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST / 6 PM GMT.

That link simply redirects you to facebook.com/FacebookLive, so keep your browser pointed there. I've also embedded the video above for your convenience (even if you have Facebook blocked at work, you should be able to watch it).

There are multiple rumors regarding what Facebook will launch today, including an official Facebook iPad app, a Facebook photo sharing app for the iPhone, a music streaming service, a tie-in with Netflix, or maybe even something that we haven't heard about yet.

The most likely one so far is the announcement of Skype video integration on Facebook. The new product is expected to include a desktop component, but it's not clear if you will need the Skype desktop client or additional software even if you already have Skype. Either way, it will reportedly be an in-browser experience.

Facebook and Skype first talked about a potential partnership in September 2010, but they could not reach an agreement. When Skype 5.0 was released in October 2010, the new version offered voice calling between Facebook friends, but it did not include a video chatting feature. The integration was a one-way road: only Skype added some Facebook features to its client.

Following rumors that Google, Facebook, and Microsoft were all interested in the Skype, the software giant swooped in. Two months ago, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The deal was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and is Microsoft's largest acquisition to date.

While Facebook failed to buy Skype, the company was still likely very pleased that Microsoft got the Luxembourg-based company rather than Google. Microsoft is a Facebook investor since October 2007 and the two collaborate quite a bit. One of the biggest reasons for this is simple: the software giant and the social giant realize they need to work together to compete with the search giant.

Facebook reportedly has 750 million users, and since Skype only has 170 million users, it's understandable what Skype gains from this integration. On the other hand, data has shown that Facebook users want voice (and video) chat, so it's clear that the social network will benefit as well.

I'll keep you posted throughout the day.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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9 comments
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  • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

    Any time someone uses the word "awesome" when releasing a new product/service, most of the time it seems to be a flop. I'll believe it when I see it.
    Aerowind
    • Yup, I agree. Magical and Revolutionary are the right words

      @Aerowind
      Every time Apple launches anything, they use the words "Magical and Revolutionary" and that seems to work so much better. YEAH!!!
      woulddie4apple
      • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

        @woulddie4apple
        It does. And everytime I wave my magic wand at you, you disappear for a short while.

        lol...
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

        @woulddie4apple Hey there Apple hater. When Apple introduces something it usually is. Whereas others or just copying Apple. Thus the lack of "Magical and Revolutionary" in their introductions.
        rpollard1
  • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

    Google Plus has them running scared! This is hilarious!

    The biggest activity by Facebook in months after Google+ leaked. So awesome.
    Droid101
    • I give Google 6 months

      @Droid101
      before it goes the way of most of their offereings of late.

      I'm no big fan of facebook, but Facebook seams to have Google running scared.

      Ever since rumors stated months ago about Facebbok "possibly" creating a Facebook phone (competing with Nexus) Google's been pulling out all the stops trying to get some sort of social networking site together, (and doing a poor job of it, IMO).

      This was in the works for months, I'm sure, Google+ sounds like it's been in the works for weeks.
      Will Pharaoh
  • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

    Frankly, the only thing that's really gonna convince me to stay with Facebook is firing Mark. IMO he's actually the problem here - he's outright said that he's fine with the idea of forcing his philosophies down people's throats when they disagree with him about how Facebook works.

    . . . and that, IMO is very, very dangerous. I really do not agree with some of the foundational philosophies of Facebook, especially when it comes to privacy. So I'm done with them, and I'm leaving.

    I'm sorry, but I seriously doubt whatever they announce will convince me to stay. Not as long as Mark is still running things.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

    [facetious]Ooh, ooh, ooh... I can't wait. [/facetious]

    I don't even use Facebook...
    bb_apptix
    • RE: Reminder: watch Facebook 'launch something awesome' today

      @bb_apptix & 750 Million Facebook users don't care that you're not there. Facebook has a larger population than the United States - so a post like yours is fairly narcissistic. As if your opinion (or mine) of Facebook, matters or has any impact. The funny thing is that a story like this is mostly going to attract the Facebook haters to post comments.
      dcolbert1