Google's +1 social networking could make large-scale video chat a core feature, a follow-up rumor may have divulged today. The feature reportedly allows over 12 simultaneous participants at once and may be tied into the Loops, or social groups, inherent to the service. It's not known by the TechCrunch sources if the video chat would extend to the iPhone app, but its importance would make this more probable.
The chat system is said to work by using multiplexing that avoids duplicating data and conserves network resources.
When it arrives, +1 is expected to primarily if indirectly compete against Facebook, including through a toolbar for sharing content with friends. The new discovery would point to other features being hidden and that Google may have more advanced plans for the iPhone, and presumably Android, than just basic messaging and sharing. A mobile video chat would compete less against FaceTime and more with third-party apps like Fring and Qik.