Facebook Announces New Group Chat, Buddy Lists, and Video Calling

In what Mark Zuckerberg called the start to “Launching Season 2011”, Facebook has announced that they are launching a number of products over the coming months. Zuckerberg said that the goal of Social Networking has shifted from connecting people to building apps for people to use. He claimed that the future of internet use is based on social infrastructure.

During his announcement, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook has reached 750 million users. At the same time, he emphasized that this is not the metric that Facebook wants to watch. Their goal now is to improve the way that people share.

To that end, Facebook is launching a handful of new products today. The first major announcement was a new form group chat. If you use Facebook groups, then you know you can already chat with whole groups. You can create an ad-hoc group by adding more than one Facebook friend in the Facebook chat interface. They claim that ‘a lot of people requested’ this service.

The next feature announced was the ability to find people to chat with easier. Given that you have the available screen space, you can now see a ‘buddy list’ of Facebook friends. This will allow you more easily find the people you want to chat with. The new sidebar will adjust to fit the size of your screen.

The last announcement was Skype integration. This was rumored to be the most likely announcement, and it came true. If you want to initiate a Video chat on Facebook, you simply click the video call button in your Facebook chat window. If the person who you are trying to call doesn’t have the plugin installed, they will be automatically prompted to do so. There is also a video call button on profile pages.

All three of these features will be rolling out automatically over the next few weeks. If you don’t want to wait for these products, you can get it now.


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Tony Price

Tony A. Price is a Nutrition and Dietetics Student from Louisiana in the United States. He has a deep passion for high end technology, mobile devices and applications, Mac hardware and software, and video gaming. His website is Tony's Brain, his Twitter handle is @TonyAllenPrice and you can follow him on Google+.