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Facebook video chat: What does it mean for you?

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(Read caption) What are critics saying about the Facebook partnership with Skype?

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Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised “awesome” new updates to the ubiquitous social network. Now that the company has unveiled a new video chat feature, the blogosphere has a chance to ask, “Well, how 'awesome' is it, really?”

A quick recap: Facebook will launch the new feature in tandem with Skype, and they’ve integrated the two services closely. Skype already had some Facebook features – the latest Windows version showed your friends list, gave access to Facebook chat, and allowed you to “Like” a friend’s status – but it still inhabited its own program and required users to register for a separate Skype account.

Starting today, though, the services have effectively fused. You’ll see a little “call” button on each of your friends’ profile pages, as well as a video icon in your right-hand chat window. In the announcement this morning, Zuckerberg emphasized that the service requires only minimal setup to use, and it’s true: the applet takes just a few seconds to download and install.


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