Facebook video chat now comes baked into the social network. The announcement means that chatting "face-to-face" is now only a few clicks away.
It’s a simple formula: the world's largest social network, plus the world's largest video-chat system, equals the world’s easiest one-click way to instantly see your friends.
The Facebook video chat announcement means that its 750 million users will be able to talk with any of their online friends thanks to a new partnership with Skype, which could soon be a part of Microsoft.
“It’s so minimal and so easy to use, I just think a lot of people are going to want to use it,” says Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
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After about six months of planning with Skype, Zuckerberg announced the new video-calling feature of Facebook chat at a press conference Wednesday with Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, and other Facebook employees at their headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. The announcement confirmed one of the many rumors that had been floating around in recent weeks about a new feature that Zuckerberg deemed “awesome.”
In the coming weeks, users will see a small video icon in chat boxes and a “Call” button on profile pages that with one click will launch a ringing noise on a friend’s computer. A window will then pop up, asking the friend to accept or decline the call.
If that friend has never used the video-calling feature, a plug-in can be installed within 10 to 20 seconds before beginning the call, Zuckerberg says.
When a friend accepts a call, a large window will appear in the middle of the screen, which first shows the person making the call (so you know how you look). Then the person on the other end of the call will pop up.
“This stuff is possible because the social infrastructure already exists,” says Zuckerberg, who suggests that the past five years have been about connecting people, but now it’s time to build on top of the existing technology with new features.