Print 13 comment(s) - last by yuyuyuan.. on Jul 7 at 11:13 AM

Facebook chat is getting a makeover  (Source:
Facebook is working with Skype to introduce video calling, and has made other chat-related changes as well

Facebook is constantly making changes to its social networking site to stay relevant and continue fending off competition, especially with Google+ on its way. For instance, Facebook changed its messaging system last November that brings texts, chat, e-mails and messages together in one area. Also, the social giant released a facial recognition feature recently that aimed to make photo tagging easier, but ended up causing issues with user privacy.

Now, Facebook is introducing new chat-related features to make conversing with friends and family more convenient.

One new chat feature offers a sidebar much like the chat sidebar you see now, except it lists the people you message most instead of just everyone who is available.

Another new chat feature a multi-person chat that allows you to select certain friends and invite them to a group chat. Friends can be invited to a conversation by going into a regular chat with a person, then selecting "Add Friends to Chat." Also, the conversation's history is available in messages.

Last but not least, Facebook is working with Skype to introduce video calling as a new chat feature. The video calling option is built into chat, where a video call button is located at the top of the chat window. It will be available in over 70 different languages, and will hit Facebook chat over the next few weeks.

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RE: Linux support?
By Solandri on 7/7/2011 3:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
IMHO the open source/Unix/Linux community really dropped the ball with VOIP and video chat. We had video chat on our Silicon Graphics machines when I was at grad school in 1994. That's when I realized the barrier between phone networks and computer networks was artificial, and would eventually disappear. I thought internet telephony, video chat, video broadcasts, followed by video telephony was going to be the next big thing. Part of my thesis was about optimizing one-to-many communications over networks (multicasting).

Instead, there were half-hearted efforts, a lot of needlessly complicated setups, and a lot of hostility towards the idea of video calls, and video conferencing. A lot of free software advocates are also privacy advocates, and seemed to view webcams as a threat to individual privacy.

Skype waded into that morass with a completely proprietary protocol on a closed network service, and won the market by simple virtue of being easy to set up and use. (Teamspeak and Ventrilo actually came earlier, but their use was mostly limited to multiplayer games. People didn't seem to realize that with a little modification you could replace telephones with them, probably because you had to set up your own server.) So despite a nearly 10-year head start, the Unix/Linux community dropped the ball on this, and is now reliant on the market leaders to take pity on them and support Linux with their proprietary services. At least Google is pretty well-committed to making their web apps platform independence.

RE: Linux support?
By achintya on 7/7/2011 4:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
At least Google is pretty well-committed to making their web apps platform independence.

Google is more committed to keeping their web apps platform independent since the market penetration of their products relies on the browsers rather than the actual OS. Facebook Video Chat depends upon the penetration of Windows, as does most desktop software.

You also have to keep in mind that Google itself is not present on a single decisive OS platform but is dependent upon their Chrome browser, Chrome OS and Android OS. To make sure all these devices support their services, working on the web makes their lives easier.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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