Facebook is launching three new chat programs: new chat design, video chat with skype, and ad hoc group chat.
New design will make chat look better on wide screen monitors. There is now a side panel which shows you the people that you chat with the most and if they are online. This shows up on wider screens. The video chat with Skype works the same way video chat works in the Skype program with web cams. The ad hoc group chat allows Facebook users to create a group chat without having to create a Facebook group.
The big announcement, though, centers around the Skype-powered video calling, which is now available in Facebook. This feature is browser based inside of Facebook, and it provides access to one-on-one video chatting. Also, with this application, you will be able to leave your friends video voicemails if they aren’t available. It is both asynchronous and live.
It is likely that people will compare Facebook video chat with Google+ Hangouts, which is Google+’s answer to group video chatting. While Google+ Hangouts offers a group video chat, Facebook only offers one-on-one video chat. However, most people seem to use video calling services for one-on-one chats, at least currently.
Facebook creator and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been talking about how he thinks the next five years will be about social applications being built within and on top of the infrastructure that Facebook has built in social media. Zuckerberg calls this “the first example of a great social app.”
No one knows where Facebook will go next with these kinds of applications or the next big idea that Zuckerberg will come up with to help make Facebook more social than it already is, but you will be sure to see some competition from Google+.