Facebook News: Facebook Announces Video Chat

Screen shot 2011 07 06 at 3.31.41 PM
Screenshot from facebook.com/videocalling

Facebook is apparently getting nervous over the positive buzz about the new social media networking website, the Google+ Project. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced live from Palo Alto, California on Wednesday that Facebook will be partnering with Skype to enable video chat for their users according to CBS News. This announcement comes just in time for the release of the new Google+ which also allows video chatting.

The new video software will work similar to the way that traditional Facebook messaging works. Instead users will now have the option to click “video call” and chat via web cameras with their friends on the site. Multiple people can be added into each chat, depending on the size of your browser just as Google+ allows multiple users in their “hangout” section according to CBS News.

Philip Su, a Facebook engineer on the video calling team, announced on the official The Facebook Blog that he was excited to introduce the new video calling option to the site. According to the blog, the new service which is accessible starting today, will be available in 70 different languages within the next month.

“Over the last year, the messages team has been working to make it easier to have one on one conversations with your friends,” Su said. “Video chat has been around for year now but it is 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.”

Facebook users do not need to download Skype software in order to make video calls on the site. According to the Financial Post, there were concerns over whether this partnership would hurt Skype’s user base but Skype’s Chief Executive of Technologies, Tony Bates said the concerns were unfounded. “This is a great strategy from a business point of view as we’ve set a goal of hang billion users and this help us get there,” Bates said.

Microsoft announced plans to buy Skype for $8.5 billion in May to integrate into Xbox, Kinect, Outlook and Xbox Live, which according to CNET News would be the largest acquisition to date.

“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.” Zuckerberg said today that Facebook’s recent connections with Skype would not interfere with the acquisition in question.

Last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was planning on releasing “something awesome” to their website.

The Facebook video chat software worked after a test run by the Press staff.

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