Thursday, July 7, 2011

Facebook started video calls

Close on the heels of Google launching its latest social networking venture Google+, Facebook is addiing video chat to its pages. The feature powered by the Internet phone service Skype will allow Facebook's over 750 million users to make video calls on the site. Facebook has also redesigned its chat feature, so that the people whom a user messages the most, show up first.
Here's all you should know about the all-new Facebook video chat: how it works, setting up, blocking people, who all can call you and much more.
To get started you need a webcam and microphones. If you and your friend both have webcams and microphones set up, you will be able to see and hear each other in real time.
In case, you call a friend who doesn’t have a webcam, she will be able to see and hear you, but you'll only be able to hear her.
You are required to complete the set-up the first time you try to call a friend, or the first time a friend tries to call you. Now, to get started, just click on the video icon at the top of your chat window.
To start set up, just click the "Set Up" button and follow the instructions given for your browser.
Now just go to the profile of the person you wish to chat with and click the "Call" button in the top right corner. If the set-up is done, the call should connect automatically. In case it doesn’t, call again by clicking the video icon at the top of your chat window.

Once the call is answered, you may have to wait a moment for your call to connect before the video call begins. As the person you call too will have to complete the set up.

If my friend is unavailable?
In case the person you wish to video chat with is unavailable, you can leave a video message. The time and date of your missed call will be listed in your ongoing message history with the person.

Who all can call me?
This works similar to Facebook chat, meaning only the people you have confirmed as friends can call you.

How do I make myself unavailable?
You will always have the option to ignore any call you receive. If you want to make yourself unavailable for video calling and chat, just click the settings icon in the right corner of the chat list. Click "Available to Chat" to remove the check mark.

To block a friend or group of friends from calling or chatting with you just create a list of the people you’d like to prevent from chatting with you. Now, click the settings icon in the right corner of the chat list. Select “Edit Availability”. Now, check the box next to the list you want to appear unavailable to and click “Close”. Now, you will not appear online to the people in this list.

It's simple, just close the video window to end the call
Are my calls recorded?
The date of every call a user makes or receives will appears in his / her ongoing conversation history in Facebook Messages. However, calls themselves will not be recorded or saved.
Yes, users can continue using chat and other Facebook features while making a video call.

According to Facebook, video calling works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers.
Incidentally, video calling for Linux is not currently supported. Users will have to use one of the above browsers in a Mac or Windows operating system.