A year ago, Facebook announced the video chatting feature powered by Microsoft-acquired Skype, which allowed Skype users to video chat with Facebook users within Skype itself. All that Skype users had to do is click on the Facebook icon on the left side of the screen, and allow Skype to access their Facebook information via the Facebook Connect button.
However, the feature didn’t really attract many users, and sources say that in order to increase video chat usage and popularize the little known feature, Facebook is testing it further by adding a “Call” button below the user’s cover photo on the profile page, right next to the “Message” button. It is said that the motive behind adding this new button is to remind Facebook users that there is a feature called as video chat and users need to make use of it.
Ever since Google+ Hangouts made its debut, the video chatting feature for Google+ has attracted several users. Perhaps Facebook has now realized that the video chatting feature needs to be emphasized more and needs to get more users use the feature. This could also be a threat to Facebook, since it could lose several users to Google Plus.
Currently, users can see the video chat button only in chat windows, and that is the only way to start a video chat with someone. Adding a “Call” button on user’s profile page seems apt, however, it still goes unnoticeable. Perhaps, Facebook should consider replacing its annoying Ticker widget on the right, and add buttons such as “Call” to highlight it and several other features that Facebook offers.
Unlike Google+ Hangouts, Facebook’s video chat does not support group video chat yet. Facebook had promised group video chat after the integration with Skype. This is yet another reason Facebook needs to take into consideration if they really want to increase the popularity of its video chat feature. Other features including, Facebook-to-Skype calling, and paid Facebook to standard phone number audio calling are yet to debut.