Facebook finally announced a new video calling feature powered by Skype and extending the social networking giant’s deep ties with Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg also unveiled a new design for messaging and a group chat feature for starting ad hoc conversation circles, similar to features in Google+.Facebook and Skype seem focused on with their new deal and the social network said its video calling is the easiest way to get connected with video. Facebook is being rolled out in 70 different languages and will be available to all of its 750 million active users………….
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced video calling powered by Skype and also revealed other chat improvements, including an option to see the friends you message most and group chat, plus confirmed that it now has 750 million users. Facebook admitted that video chat has been around for years now, the company emphasized that it’s still not an everyday activity for most people. Sometimes it’s too difficult to set up, or the friends you want to talk to are on different services. As a result, a few months ago Facebook started working with Skype to bring video calling to the social network. The video functionality has been built it right into Facebook Chat, so all your conversations start from the same place. Facebook is making this new feature available in over 70 different languages to everyone over the next few weeks. In addition, the new chat design includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most, whether on line or offline. It adjusts with the size of your browser window, and automatically appears when the window is wide enough. As for multi-person chat, which Facebook says is one of our most requested features, all you have to do is click Add Friends to Chat. Just like your other chats, the history of your conversation is available in Messages.
Facebook and Skype first talked about a potential partnership in September 2010, but they could not reach an agreement. When Skype 5.0 was released in October 2010, the new version offered voice calling between Facebook friends, but it did not include a video chatting feature. The Skype tie-in to Facebook is important for another reason: Microsoft. Two months ago, the software giant 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. Once the Microsoft-Skype deal goes through and once we see start seeing Skype on Facebook, Facebook will finally be integrating something that Microsoft owns to its website. Previously, the partnership between the two has only seen Microsoft integrating Facebook content and data into Bing. At one point, Microsoft managed ads for Facebook, but that was eventually replaced by Facebook’s own ad platform. Facebook has 750 million users and since Skype only has 170 million users, it’s understandable what Skype gains from this integration.
To make video calls on Facebook users will require a webcam-equipped computer and then select a friend they want to video chat with. In the chat window that pops up, clicking on a small blue video icon brings up the video chat feature (or when a friend tries to make a video call to the user) and the first time the user will be prompted to download and run a 482KB .exe file. Once the setup downloads and downloads and installs the necessary files, the user is ready for a face-to-face chat. Currently there is no option to video chat more than one person. That feature is available on Google Plus, a social service that Google began testing last week with a small number of invited users. The Facebook video calling feature is experiencing some initial hiccups with many users reporting problems with their video calling. The error message that Facebook displays, reads, “The software that powers video calling is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.” Facebook video calling is supported for the latest versions of Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer web browsers. Users should also check if any other4 program is using their webcam. Windows users also have to ensure that they have the latest version of Microsoft DirectX installed. Some other issues with Facebook video calling include quality of the video, that some users have pointed out is better on Skype. Also there is no way to resize the video window.