Facebook Reveals Video Chat Powerd by Skype
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Facebook made its announcements at its headquarters on Wednesday during an event. After several minutes where Zuckerberg discussed Facebook’s infrastructure, the company revealed its announcements.
By far the biggest of the 3 announcements is the video calling feature. Facebook started working with Skype a few months ago to bring video calling to Facebook — the companies were rumored to be in talks about video chat integration in March. The feature has been built into chat, so you will be able to start all of your conversations from the same place. All you have to do to call a friend is click the video call button at the top of your chat window or at the top of that friend’s profile. If the person that you want to talk to is not available, you can leave them a video message instead.
Facebook says that it is excited to bring video calling to more than 750 million people and is making the feature available in more than 70 languages. Facebook is rolling out the feature to everyone over the next few weeks, but you can try it right now if you wish.
The Skype video chat feature strengthens the link between Facebook and Microsoft, which purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in May. Microsoft is using social data from Facebook in its Bing search results, while Bing is being used to power Web searches on Facebook.
Of course, Skype already has integration with Facebook. Last month, the communications service added deeper Facebook integration, including chat, Likes and comments.
Facebook’s new chat design includes a sidebar that features a list of the people that you message most often, which makes it easier to find the friends whom you are closest to. The sidebar will automatically appear when your Web browser window is wide enough and adjusts with the size of your browser window.
The last of the 3 new features is the ability to start a group chat, which is one of the features that Facebook users have requested the most. If you want to arrange dinner plans with a bunch of friends at once, you can add them to the same chat by clicking the Add Friends to Chat button.
fb group chat The timing of the announcement is interesting. While Facebook has been working on these features for some time, the company has announced them just a week after Google launched its Google+ social project — which includes a video chat feature. Interesting times in the Facebook vs. Google war.