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Facebook announces Skype video calling integration, Group Chat

Facebook announces Skype video calling integration, Group Chat

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Facebook has just announced the previously rumored full integration with Skype, which finally brings video chat to the social networking giant. Skype and Facebook have previously worked together to bring integration to the desktop in Skype 5.0 for Windows which put Facebook Connect to great use. Facebook's video calling will be fully rolled out to all users today (though the official post says "the next few weeks), but can be accessed right now. We've embedded the official video demo of Video Chat after the break.

Facebook has also announced Group Chat which easily allows multi-person, instantaneous chats, and simultaneously overhauls the entire design of chat, making it scalable based on your browser, and shows your most messaged friends in a sidebar.

Update: We're trying everything out right now, and have a hands-on gallery and impressions after the break!

Source: Facebook

Well that didn't take long! Most of our staff already has the video button integrated into their Facebook chat windows, and we've all been video chatting away (yes, some of us are in the same room). The set up was pretty seamless — just hit the video button and an applet downloads to your Mac or PC. If one of your friends doesn't have video chat installed, Facebook will let you know with a friendly message and ping your contact to download. As you can see in the pictures below, Josh and Joanna had no problem kicking things off. Joanna found the quality to be on par with normal Skype video calls — she reports that Josh looked very clear and smooth — but Paul and Nilay found things to be a bit more choppy and actually ended up dropping a call. Let us know your impressions in the comments.

Facebook Skype video chat pictures