If you haven’t used FaceTime, then I think you’re missing out! Is it revolutionary? Not really. Skype and other services (even as old as Microsoft’s late NetMeeting service) have been doing video conferencing for a long time now. Is it full-featured? Not really. There are still some fairly fundamental features missing like conference-calling and voicemail. So what’s so great about it?
Well, first of all, I really like the integration. Not just on iPhone, but across all Apple products (sorry PC users, no Windows support, yet)... iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook Pro. You can set it up (via your iCloud account) so that it rings all locations simultaneously. Whichever device answers first, wins (and all others cease to ring).
Some carriers (ahem, AT&T) have been slow to allow FaceTime calls to be placed/received via their 3G/LTE networks, but they are slowly allowing it, making it really convenient for you to not just use FaceTime on WiFi networks (home/office), but on the road.
At this point, I would think it’s pretty obvious what the consumer benefits are to using FaceTime. How about business?
From my perspective, businesses are built (and sadly, die) based on relationships. It’s nearly impossible to create, build and foster good relationships via text/email. Ideally, in-person communication is the best way to maintain good relationships. There are circumstances, however, that prevent that from happening very often. Geographic separation is an obvious hurdle. Time is another. Some relationships need more face-to-face communication than others. FaceTime is a great tool to be used as an intermediate step to building and maintaining relationships.
Don’t believe me? FaceTime me. :-)