Overlooking this comparison for the time being, Facebook has launched a totally new experience for it’s users in the form of Video Chat.
In collaboration with Skype, Facebook has integrated Video Chat feature in addition to simple chat – making it possible for you to video con without installing desktop version of Skype. This video chat works fine with any browser, all you have to do is, just download a plugin and you are good to go.
How to Activate Video Chat:
To activate video chat on Facebook, visit http://facebook.com/videocalling and click Get Started. Here you need to download a simple application and install it. You can do that by clicking Setup.
Once you are done with this one time setup, you will see a big sidebar containing the person you mostly interact with – added with a video camera icon, simply click on it to start the video conversation. But note that the person you are trying to call should also go through the above mentioned procedure just once.
Whenever someone tries to call you, you will hear a bell first and then notification will come to accept or reject the video call.
Another important feature that Facebook has integrated is, send video messages. So if someone you are trying to call is unavailable, simply record your message and send it to other person as a video.
Facebook Video Chat vs Google Hangouts:
Google Hangout is a group chat thing while on Facebook you can have video chat with only one person. Voice and video quality both are good so Facebook lacks the group chat – but if you want one to one video conversation, then Facebook is a good go.
Note that Gmail already provides this feature of video calling in browser so Facebook isn’t new to introduce in browser video chat service with contacts.
Also a beta version of Skype 5.5 has also been released for Windows platform that will incorporate this new Facebook chat feature, so cross platform chat may work. After giving access to your profile, you can have a separate tab for Facebook contacts in the new version of Skype, this becomes handy in managing contacts in one place, yet categorized.
Group Chat is another feature that has been introduced in the recent upgrades. So now you can chat with more than one person at a time, by creating a group conversation. A bit similar feature was already present in Facebook Groups.
With this new group chat feature, you can simply add contacts to make a group conversation. Company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in the launch event, revealed that Facebook took this step, considering the fact that 50 % of the Facebook users are active in groups and it is the group chat feature that attracts them.
So one-click-add-to-conversation feature will be handy now without joining any group.
Note that video chat feature is not available for mobile devices yet.