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Facebook introduces Skype video calling

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facebook-iconfacebook & skype

Facebook has joined forces with Skype to offer free video calls with all your friends on the popular social networking site.

The new service is built into the chat section of Facebook and makes it easier to see which of your friends are online and up for a Skype-powered video call.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the integration announcement alongside Skype CEO Tony Bates at Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters early today.  

Microsoft bought Skype in May for $8.5 billion with the computing giant already in partnership with Facebook. Microsoft invested $US240 million into Facebook back in 2007.

 

Discussion for the integration of Skype into Facebook started last year, it was reported.

Also introduced was group chat so Facebook’s 750 million users could chat to multiple friends at once.

Facebook has joined forces with Skype to offer video calling

This multi-person chat can be initiated by adding friends from your chat list to enable three or more to join in on the same conversation.

There’s also a new design to the chat area which shows more clearly the friends you chat with the most now displayed in a sidebar down the right side of the page.

Video chatting will be rolled out across Facebook over the next few weeks but if you can’t wait you go get started here.

Users can initiate a video call by clicking the icon on their friend's profile page

After the initial set up users are able to use the Skype video calling functionality within their browsers as long as they are using Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome.

To start a call Facebook users simply visit their friend’s profile and click on the video call icon at the top of the page. You can see if your friend is currently online if a green dot appears next to their name in your friend list in the sidebar.

Once the connection is made it take a few seconds for the video stream to begin.

If your friend is unavailable you can even leave a video message with the date and time you called.

Only confirmed friends can video call you but members also have the choice of making themselves unavailable.

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