Thursday, 7 July 2011

Facebook + Skype = LOVE

Facebook, in a hurry to beat freshly announced Google+  released in-browser video chat for keen users. Seemingly it's done far ahead of schedule because unpolished thingies pop up here and there all the time. Still it's interesting service to try. Working on Skype technology it's stable but early release made stuff quite ugly and lacking UI elements. Check after break for step by step instruction on getting stuff to work.

Indulging your nerdy wish to be first of your buddies never was that easy. Head on to this page and click green button to get started. It initiates mini tutorial to get to know UI.

Last step offers you to call some friend of yours:

It's done by clicking sketchy camera symbol in blue tab of chat pane. Using it for the very first time initiates installing required plug-in and application. Just agree to do it and keep in mind: unlike plain plug-ins this one doesn't sync between your different devices. You will need to set up for each browser you gonna use Facebook Skype with.
Click blue button and wait a bit till Facebook decides what browser you've got, browser accepts download and antivirus approves it. After 20-40 seconds carefully positioned tip will appear. Guys at FB development team worked fine to make process truly foolproof.

If you use other browser, this step might look slightly different. All illustrations in this tutorial are made in stable Chrome. When download finishes, obey tipbox and start file. High probability that Windows will ask for permission to run it. You need administrator rights to set up Facebook video calls. Can use it as any level of user though.
Upon installation complete Facebook gets all impatient so, instead of notifying you, first call starts automatically.


  1. I like idea of having another in-browser video chat apart from gMail one. Separate Skype and MSN offer more functions and look better but they need your contact to have respective account so FB-Skype hybrid lets you see people who were out of reach before. Teens who are too lazy to set up Skype, grannies who barely can update FB status but tag all your ugly baby photos, blonde girlfriends and all other Facebook monsters can now be called directly, admired and praised;
  2. it works as audio chat if you don't have webcameras. Also works fine if only one side has camera.

DislikeI hate how they remade chat panel. It's bigger and has direct control over contacts groups as well as options of who to display BUT it no longer has bottom bar when maximized. Seams like no big deal, right? I'm already tearing my hear off in anger that I need to move cursor all the way up to minimize it back! Tiny tab did solely this function but it made a huge difference in terms of usability. We seldom change presences but checking who's online is quite natural and happens regularly. Wonder why FB devs spoiled user experience. Imagine how it's even more uncomfortable for those using track-pad.

It's very promising service. I still look forward getting Google+, it seams so much more refined.
Fancy telling me of your experience with Facebook Video chat in comments below or through Facebook page?

No comments:

Post a Comment