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Google Hangouts versus Facebook, Microsoft, and Skype

Google has made several attempts to enter the social media game (Google Wave, Google Buzz, and Google Plus) in which it competes against Twitter and Facebook.

Google Buzz did not gain much momentum. Google Plus made an initial splash, but doesn't have near the user base that Facebook does. We'll probably be deep into 2012 before we find out if Google Plus will be able to compete.

In the meantime, Facebook, Microsoft, and Skype will extend their already generous lead. Google also added what it calls Hangouts to Google Plus. Hangouts is a way to create a place for multi-person video chat. Google has positioned Hangouts more as a social place for friends than a business collaboration tool. Early reports, however, praise the quality of its video chat.

The battle between Skype and Hangouts for business usage will hinge both on adoption (many more people are on Facebook than Plus) and video quality.

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