Remembering back to childhood, many will recall that visions of the future included flying cars (still waiting…), personal jetpacks (still waiting) and video calling (it’s here!). Video calling has been around for a while, thanks to Skype. And the new Google+ also has video calling and while Google is used widely and often, this new version is limited right now. But with the announcement of the combo of Facebook and Skype yesterday, video calling entered a new reality. The breaking news from yesterday isn’t about the development of new technology – it is about the unprecedented access to it.
Facebook has 750,000,000 users. Within seconds of the announcement, I got my first Facebook call.
The Facebook calling feature allows you to call friends, but not the pages of institutions and whatnot of which you are a Fan. But just imagine if you could? All the pharma companies, the FDA, and a lot of politicians would suddenly need a voice for their Facebook page. One could call up a pharma company and show them a rash that occurred after taking a drug. Our world would turn on its head.
Well don’t worry, that hasn’t happened. Yet. But what if it had? Would we be ready?
Yesterday’s announcement is demonstrative of how quickly the world of communications is changing. The changes occur before we even realize their impact. Recently while speaking to a group on social media, I asked how many people were on Facebook – everyone raised their hand. I asked how many people were using Cloud technology. Nobody raised their hand. The fact that Facebook is Cloud technology at work does not occur to most people – yet it has become ubiquitous in our lives. And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday after the announcement that the direction for Web based development is entirely around social networking. Apps will be all about networking. The next five years will expand upon the last five years, he said. Companies need to catch up.
Well, companies and in this case, the FDA. Each new media development ads a complex layer of questions that need to be answered for highly regulated industries when it comes to social media. The task will not get simpler. The methodology for enunciating regulatory parameters has got to be made simpler and more efficient. The world is not waiting.
I’m going to go see a man about a flying car now.