Facebook and Skype unveil video chat feature, 1 week after Google+
Thursday, July 07 2011 by Kate Billinghurst
Facebook and Skype have confirmed that users will be able to make free video calls to friends and family using the social networking site.
The move comes just a week after Google unveiled its answer to Facebook, Google+, offering a similar free video calling service taking advantage of web telephony.
The social networking site's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, explained that the new service is one of a number of new additions to the site planned for the next few months.
One of the key distinctions between Facebook's new product and that launched by Google+ is the absence of group chat from the Skype version.
However, the social networking site's video calling team engineer Philip Su has confirmed that an instant group chat feature will be rolled out soon, to enable multiple groups of friends to engage with each other in one conversation online.
Zuckerberg explained: "The driving narrative is not about wiring up the world because a lot of the interesting stuff has been done but about what cool social apps you can build now this social infrastructure is in place."
Internet consultants have been praising the ease of use of the new Facebook video feature, indicating that the software installation process is fairly straightforward.
Conveniently, the video function is integrated into the existing chat features already on the site.
Mr Su noted: "We built it right into chat, so all your conversations start from the same place. To call your friend, just click the video call button at the top of your chat window."
The chat feature will be made available in over 70 different languages, and Facebook members have been told to expect the new feature to be made available over the coming weeks.
However, those keen to start using it immediately can get it now.
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