Today Facebook announced the launch of video calling, powered by Skype, along with other chat improvements. This could be the catalyst that makes video chatting, once reserved for only The Jetsons, go mainstream.
The new functionality has been built into Facebook’s Chat feature. To call friend, users just click the video call button at the top of the chat window.
This new feature available in more 70 different languages and it will be rolled out over the next few weeks.
Another development in the chat feature includes a new sidebar that lists the people a user communicates with most often. It automatically appears when the window is wide enough. Facebook has also introduced multi-person chatting for the first time, today too.
The deal makes makes for an interesting twist in the Internet industry. A few weeks ago Microsoft announced it was acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The deal was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and once it goes through, it will be Microsoft’s largest acquisition to date. Microsoft is a Facebook investor (since October 2007).
Video calling will be available to everyone over the next few weeks, but if you don’t want to wait, you can get it now.
- Facebook and Skype means Video chat with 750 million users (theinformativereport.com)
- Facebook taking Skype relationship further with video chat (gigaom.com)