Facebook Video Chat

So if you haven’t heard yet, Facebook has teamed up with Skype to create video chat capabilities for the popular social networking site.  Now you can video chat with your friends and family right through Facebook, without having to create a separate Skype account. We tried it out in the office, and it was fairly easy to use, although quite buggy right now. I believe they just announced it on July 6th or 7th, so I’m sure there will be many bugs to work out in the days and weeks to come.  However, all you have to do is search for “Skype Me” on Facebook and download the app. It took me a few tries before it finally worked, but then you just download the file and Run it on your computer. After it’s installed, you can choose any friend from your normal chat list and click to open the chat. Now you’ll see a small video icon, and you can click that to begin the call.  It rings on your friend’s end, and they have the ability to answer or ignore your call.  Once answered, it opens a box that shows your friend’s video, with your video in a small box in the corner. It’s an incredibly simple and easy to use layout.  The only downfall I’ve noticed so far, besides the timing-out that occurred while trying to access the download page, is that there is no way to choose your camera and microphone from the Facebook video window.  My audio was not working for some reason, and I had to dig through the Control Panel to access my microphone and webcam settings. I would prefer it if there were a way to control it right through Facebook.  Other than that, it looks like it will be a really cool feature of Facebook, and I look forward to see how the technology develops. 

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