In typical Facebook style, Mark Zuckerburg first hinted at video chat by promising “something awesome.” That “something awesome” was video chat powered by the video chat gurus at Skype. It’s not a new piece of software or website, it’s neatly integrated into the chat features already utilized by most Facebook users today.
How to Use it Today:
Facebook has not officially launched video chat but you can get in on the action today. Browse to facebook.com/videocalling and click “Get Started” to enable. It may have to download a plugin but the setup is effortless and mostly automatic.
After installed, video chatting with your friends is as easy as clicking the call button either at the top of their profile page or the video camera logo while using regular Facebook chat.
Your friends haven’t installed Facebook chat yet? No problem, when you “call” them their computer will ring and prompt them to install the plugin.
So what does this mean for you and everyone else? It means more online social interaction in a more personal way. But it also means that the attention will move away from independent services by other companies. AIM has been fading for years and this may be the final blow, Google Chat has been slow to get going but perhaps Google Plus will be the help it needs, and the other services are mostly focused on certain markets and not the masses. Skype is notably missing from the list and the reason is simple: Facebook Video Calling is Skype. Well, it’s powered by Skype, which means combined with their international reach, that they will see business in time to come (and this probably makes them some money too). But why is Facebook the decisive force in this battle? The answer is simple: 750 million active users, 50% of whom log on daily. Facebook’s statistics are indeed impressive with over 700 billion minutes a month being spent on their website. To put that into perspective, 700 billion looks like this: 700,000,000,000 and is 1,330,928.12 years. The way things look currently, competing directly against Facebook is difficult to say the least and their new feature just solidifies their dominance.
So what do you think? Will you use their new feature? Will Facebook take over the world? Is Facebook evil? Let us know in the comments below.