Last week, Facebook announced that its Seattle team had been working on something 'awesome' and the rumor mill was churning out reports of a Facebook/Skype partnership. This afternoon, at a press event in California, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed reports and unveiled a new video chat feature for Facebook as part of a collaboration with VoIP company Skype.
Facebook and Skype's video chat function will be built right into the social network's already present instant messaging service (which, incidentally, now supports group chat).
"For those of us who have been working on this, it's particularly exciting to bring video calling to over 750 million people," said Facebook engineer Philip Su. "We're making this available in over 70 different languages, so friends can stay in touch all over the world."
The timing for the announcement fits in quite nicely with the launch of Google+, which also allows its users to video chat with each other. Facebook's having a similar tool fully operational prior to the public launch of G+ will be very valuable for the company. Still, G+ does have the added functionality of group video chat with up to ten people at once, while Facebook and Skype have limited users to just one-on-one calls.
Video calling is going to be rolled out to everyone over the next few weeks but if you want it now, hit up facebook.com/videocalling.