For several years, I’ve been claiming that the creation of vernacular videos for conversation and small audience sharing would become an important part of our lives. The playful use of video on YouTube and in increasing integration of video options into chat or personal communications exchanges are just two signs of this wave and change.

This week, we’ve seen the most ambitious bets placed on video communications in quite a while. First, Google Plus’ HangOut and today Facebook+Skype’s Video Calling. The two services are decidedly not equal. HangOut is more full featured while Facebook Video Chat has dropped many of the nice to have Skype features.

Feature Google + Skype (native) Facebook+Skype
Max. number of participants up to 10 pay for up to 10 one on one only
Sharing other feeds YouTube videos Screens, Documents etc nothing
Phone sharing Android devices now; iPhone app in process most smartphones not that I can see
IMishness while on video Gtalk yes in client Facebook Chat
Offer to connect* Active + Passive Active (call) + Passive (Skype Me) Active (message)
Architecture Hub and Spoke Point to point or Originator as hub Unclear at present
platforms Windows XP+, Mac OS X 10.5+, or Linux same 3 Ubuntu folks are complaining

*By “Passive”, I mean that you can declare a HangOut to any Circle of friends who can join in as they choose by clicking a button on their activity stream. By “Active”, I mean you call, message, or send an alert to someone in particular asking them to join you. I didn’t imagine that One On One would often be “Passive” but then I realized that “Skype Me” as a status might be considered a “Passive” invite.