Facebook, the number 1 social network, and Skype, the number 1 VOIP, have gotten in bed together. Mark Zuckerberg announced that Skype was being integrated with Facebook to provide video chat to their users.
Some of my first thoughts were how could this be monetized? Could this be another way for web cam girls to cam with people? Will this open up a whole new market for Facebook cam girls? Yeah, it might.
The problem will be actually monetizing it. The girls will have to bill their customers separate from the application and will not able to integrate any billing function into the application. However, this will allow you to access more of the Facebook network through a personal profile. The other benefit is that you don’t have to have a Skype account in order to use the application, so for those worried about privacy and registering for skype, it solves that issue.
Though I am sure Zuckerberg did not think about this as a possible usage for the application, I am sure we will see girls using it.
It is easy to use. On profiles you now have a “Call” button at the top of your profile. When you open up a chat window, you will see a video button at the top of the chat window.
When you go to make a call for the first time you will have to download a small plugin. Once the plugin is installed the call will be placed and a window will pop up on your friends screen asking them if they want to accept the call.
The built in privacy features are also good. Facebook users will not have to set up a Skype account to use the feature. The user API is anonymous, so you will be able to use it independent of a Skype account.
Another cool feature is that the system detects what your browser and operating system is before giving you the plugin. So Facebook was able to ensure that the new app is running smoothly for your system.
Phillip Su, Facebook Engineer, published notes on how the team built the app into the Facebook mainframe to ensure ease of use and privacy.
If you want to get started with video chat on Facebook, you can go here to download the plugin.
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