As expected, Facebook took the wraps off a new video chat product Wednesday at the company's Palo Alto, California, headquarters.
The new service, Video Calling, was developed by Facebook's Seattle team in conjunction with Skype. The browser-based Video Calling is integrated directly into Facebook--no new accounts, no new passwords required.
Users will soon notice a video camera icon when they open a Facebook Chat window with another friend. A single click of the video button will begin a Video Calling session.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the service as an easy-to-use extension of the Facebook platform. It works like this, he explained: the user receives a chat request from a friend, the user downloads a simple plug-in and the two start talking face-to-face.
This new product will roll out to millions of users around the world in the coming weeks. You can also get started right now by visiting Facebook's Video Calling page.
Facebook also rolled out a new design to its Chat interface, which will focus on the user's favorite contacts. A new messaging feature will also let users create multi-person chats.