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Posted at 06:32 PM ET, 07/06/2011

Facebook news: Totally awesome ... in 1964

An assistant of Taiwan's External Trade Development Council displays the award-winning video phone from the Taiwan ... way back in 2005. (Wally Santan/AP)
Google rolled out the highly lauded Google+ this week, where folks could gather in circles and hangout on video conferences. Twitter had a highly buzzed about hour-long Town Hall with President Obama. What’s a slighted social media site like Facebook to do? Announce something “awesome.”

That’s all Mark Zuckerberg would divulge prior to Wednesday’s 1 p.m. EST announcement, but it was enough to attract people in droves. More than 49,000 logged into the live stream to watch Zuckerberg discuss what kind of awesomeness from Facebook. The revolutionary announcement? Video calling.

Cue underwhelming music.

BlogPost’s Sarah Anne Hughes sent me a note: “What’s up with all the boring announcements? Is everyone out of ideas?”

Perhaps, or perhaps we’ve just run out of great science fiction inventions to plagiarize.

Zuck, I’m disappointed. (Digression: I can call him Zuck, you see, because we’re in a Google+ circle together. Yes, the founder of Facebook is on Google+, and he resides in 44,871 Google+ circles. Sergey Brin, the founder of Google, has half that amount.)

As I was saying: video calling. Not new. Alexander Graham Bell bandied about the idea in 1924. At the World Fair in 1964, the video phone had its own display booth. Nowadays, every smartphone with a forward facing camera has video calling.

And now you can do it on Facebook too.


By  |  06:32 PM ET, 07/06/2011

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