- Page 1Facebook Video Calling
- Page 2 Use, Call Quality And Verdict
Using Facebook video chat is very straight-forward and
intuitive. Having opened your Chat contacts and seen who is available to chat,
double click on that person’s name and at the top of the pop-up window you’ll see a new
video camera icon. Clicking on this will send an invitation to the person to
take part in a video chat. The person will receive a pop-up notification
(similar to the one you get in Skype) along with a ringing sound, if they
already have the plug-in installed. If the plug-in is not installed on your
friend’s computer they will be invited to do so, and you’ll be informed as to
what is happening.
Once all this is done, video calling works as you would
expect it to. While some have complained about the quality of the video
calling, we found it more than adequate while testing it for the past few days, with both sound and picture being in sync for the
vast majority of time we were using the service.
Once a call is connected, a
video window appears over your Facebook page with an image of the person you are calling
taking up most of the screen and a small picture of you in the top right-hand
corner. The video window can be dragged to a suitable place on your screen and
can also be re-sized. To end a call all you need to do is hover the mouse over the
window and a option to end the call will appear.
If you don’t have a webcam as part of your system, fret not
as you can still get in on the video-calling excitement but the person you are
calling will only be able to hear your voice while you will still be able to
see them. There are very few tweaks you can make to the video-calling feature
in Facebook as it has been designed with simplicity in mind and so it can be
used by almost anyone. With Skype powering the service, it didn’t surprise us
that the service worked pretty well. It has had years of practice at getting
video-calling right and has managed to bring that expertise to Facebook.
While we found the system very easy to use, there are
obviously some drawbacks. Currently the system is limited to one-on-one calls
and while Zuckerberg didn’t rule out adding group calling in the future, this
limitation will be a turn-off for many. With Google offering group calling
with its Hangout feature, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Facebook updating its
service very soon.
Overall the system works (for most computer configurations) and offers an
ease of use that regular Facebook users will find very compelling. Despite the system working, it still seems as if the announcement was a little rushed and could be a
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reaction to the announcement of Google . If this is the case, video calling on
Facebook should get better in the coming months and if Facebook can build on
its initial success, it could have a very compelling feature on its hands.