Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg announced this past week three very cool changes to the Facebook platform at a special press event. Zukerberg himself—the creator, president and CEO of the colossal social networking site—explained the new elements in depth. Alongside Zukerberg was the CEO of Skype (which is soon to be owned by Microsoft), and the two of them announced their companies’ recent partnership. The press event discussed the three latest Facebook developments: Video calling via integration with Skype, group chat, a redesign of the chat bar.


Video Calling

Facebook’s most attention-grabbing announcement at the press event was the partnership with Skype that makes video calling from within Facebook available to all members.  Facebook users can now call friends for free from directly inside the social networking site.  Users will find the option to video chat in two separate locations on the site:

  • Within the chat message with another user:

  • Or, on any user’s profile page in the upper right corner:

In order for a user to make a video call on Facebook to another user, members must set up the service (Facebook boasts about the 10-20 second download). Set up is certainly very simple (click here to get it now). After the call button is clicked, you are asked to download the video feature, and 10 seconds later, you’re calling your friend. If your friend has not downloaded the feature already, they will be prompted to do the same, and afterwards, they can accept your call and a video call starts between the two users. This new video option will keep users connected to one another on an entirely new level, and since it is so simple to use, its hard to imagine that the future of social networking will evolve without Video calling now.


Group Chat

The second topic of change that came out of the recent announcement was the creation of group chat. Previously, chats were one-to-one, and the only way to talk to multiple users online at the same time was through a group. That was great, however if one of your friends wasn’t within the group, they would be unable to see the group chat. The new group chat function allows for any two users who are chatting to instantaneously add another member into their chat. The format of the chat looks exactly like a one-to-one, and the add button is easy to see and use. Facebook: always looking out for the average user who complains when the site undergoes any kind of change.


Chat Redesign

Lastly, the third new feature is a little face-lift for the Facebook chat list. The new Facebook chat will be located on the right sidebar for users who have a wide enough screen. The chat list will show a user’s most-messaged friends (those online and those offline), and will be permanent on feature on their sidebar within any pages of Facebook.


These new features show that the ever-evolving Facebook is trying to keep its users happy with easy-to-use features that keep the members of this continuously growing massive network always and forever connected to one another.