Facebook announced three new “awesome” changes to the Facebook platform during a press event today. A great deal of Facebook information was displayed along with the announcement of three new elements . The new features and functionality include:
Facebook’s biggest announcement today was the partnership with Skype which will allow for video calling from within Facebook. This partnership between Facebook and the soon-to-be-acquired-by-Microsoft Skype will allow for users to call friends for free directly inside the social networking site. This comes on the heels of the recent Google+ announcement that has group video conferencing called “hangouts” included for all users.
- As a video icon within a messaging box
- Directly on a user’s profile page
In order to participate in video calls on Facebook right now, members will have to set the service up. Facebook states that:
“Video calling will be available to everyone over the next few weeks, but if you don’t want to wait, you can get it now.”
Additionally, users will have the ability to accept or refuse incoming calls.
There will be no mobile capability initially, but when asked about the potential mobile integration Zuckerburg stated “we’ll see.” No word on group video chatting was released either.
A very ‘Apple-esque’ commercial was launched in conjunction with this announcement as well.
The second largest item to come out of today’s announcement was the addition of group-based chat. Currently the only way to message multiple members to to include multiple users on a message or create a group. This functionality will allow for a chatting user to instantly add another member to the chat.
Again, this functionality competes with Google+’s huddles, a group based mobile chat available between Google+ members. Again, no word was mentioned about this new Facebook group chat available as a mobile app.
Along with the new group chat features, Facebook chat will be receiving a face lift. The new Facbook chat will feature a sidebar that help users see who they message the most. This bar will automatically show up when the widow is wide enough and will be a help to those looking to perform group chats.
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