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Facebook unveils video chat

by Kelly MacNeil on July 7, 2011

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hinted at an "awesome" development in the popualr social networking website last week, and on Wednesday he made the announcement. Facebook and Skype have teamed up to provide users with new video chat system that Zuckerberg hopes will improve their experience.

The addition of Skype is especially easy-to-use, as it brings the video right into users' Facebook profile and removes the need to open up a new program, or even a new window. The move is also not a surprising one, given that Skype is set to be acquired by Microsoft, which has partnered with Zuckerberg in the past.

"I think that chapter is more or less done at this point. If you think about where we are now, sure, we're not everywhere yet. Facebook, other social software, isn't everywhere," Zuckerberg told reporters at the announcement "[But] there's this clear arc that the world generally believes that is it going to be everywhere."

However, there are some that feel the move may not be the "awesome" addition that it was made out to be. In particular, analysts at PC World suggest that such an interface has been around for years in media including AIM, Gmail and even Yahoo! Messenger.

Though some responses to the video chat feature were tepid, it was not the only announcement Zuckerberg made Wednesday. He also showcased a new and improved Facebook chat window that makes it easier for users to chat as a group. In addition, he also rolled out a redesigned layout for Facebook chat that was created in the hopes that it would give users more access to friends who are online.

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