Facebook announced yesterday a new feature which allows you to make video calls on Facebook. I find this mind boggling because I can’t see why you’d trust Facebook, but not Skype to talk face to face. In other words, why not just use Skype directly? Makes no sense. The fact that it’s in Flash also means that it won’t work on your iPad nor your iPhone, but I digress. You want to know how it works right? Here you go:
- To get started, you need to go to http://www.facebook.com/videocalling (you’ll need a webcam on your computer or one built-in to your laptop)
- Click “Get Started” button and your friends who are online will pop up on the right side.
- Pick a friend who is online that you want to video chat with.
- Here is where you will be prompted to download the software.
- Once you download the software and install, you are ready to go. You can click on your friends and click “Start a video call”.
(Of course when I tried it the service was temporarily unavailable. Clearly something they should have checked out when they partnered with Skype was to see if it could handle a billion people calling one another.)If the person is not online, you can always record a video message. (essentially attach a video to a regular message just like you can today – no revelations here).
I don’t foresee this being as successful as they think. I’ve also read on forums that people think that it looks like it was coded in 1995. For some it went in an infinite loop of set-up and they quit out of frustration. So far, not well received. But maybe it will cater to the up and coming senior users for whom it was intended.Am I wrong? Have you tried it? Do you think it will be “cool”? Like all good ideas, it comes down to execution and this lacks luster on execution.