Facebook has just announced new video chat features using its long-awaited Skype integration. The announcement come hot on the tail of Google’s Google Plus release, which features group video hangouts.
Facebook users can try the new feature straight away, by clicking on ‘Get it now’ in this video calling preview. All other Facebook users will have the feature enabled within weeks. To use video chat, users need to click on the video icon while in the chat client with a friend chosen or while viewing message history with a given friend.
Also announced today is a group messaging system, where multiple friends can chat within the one chat window. To use this feature, users will simply need to click on ‘Add friends to chat’ while chatting to a friend. Group chats will be recorded in user messaging history as per regular one-to-one chats.
The release of video chat via Facebook will enable a wide variety of users to try video chat. Up until quite recently, most video chat services relied on users running the same piece of software, such as Skype. For non-technical users, this could often be difficult or confusing to set up. With the new Facebook video chat system, these users will find it easier to get started with video chat.
Let us know what you think of Facebook’s new features. Is it as ‘awesome’ as they promised? Will these features help to stop Facebook users from defecting to Google Plus?