So the word is out, the “chat” feature of Facebook, which you may or may not have been using (or even known you had), now has a video chat feature! This is seriously cool—it takes all the awesomeness of Skype and puts it right into Facebook for you to use with your friends in real time. No setting up a Skype account, no asking for Skype names, and no coordination of effort. And you can really start using it right away. How to get this going has been a bit of a mystery, but let me be the one to tell you how easy this is right now…
Good to know first:
- Don’t try to do this with your mobile device. This is for desktop and laptop experience only right now (and possibly tablets!).
- Your “chat” feature on the bottom right side of your screen has to be on with a green dot. If it says you’re offline, pop it open.
- You can only video chat with other friends who are online at the time.
- You can video call from the chat platform or from your friend’s profile (upper right, where it currently says “send message” and “poke”. The Video Call button will only be displayed if that friend is online.
- The other friend does not have to be set up with video chat for you to make the call. If they haven’t set it up yet, they’ll be prompted to when they are notified of your call with the tell-tale “ring” and dialog box that tells them you are trying to call.
How to set yourself up:
- Make sure you’re logged into Facebook, chat-ready.
- Enter this address is your address bar: http://www.facebook.com/videocalling
- Click “get started” which will prompt you to first find a friend to call in the chat area and click “video call.”.
- “Save” the Facebook Video Chat application.
- Find your downloads file folder, find the Facebook Video Chat application and hit “run”.
- Your chosen friend’s PC will start ringing and notify them to answer. If they aren’t set up yet, they will be prompted to go through the quick set up process you just went through and then they can answer.
- Count to 15 before panicing it didn’t work. The box with your friend’s smiling face will appear soon.
- To end a video chat, just “X” out the video box.
Have a GREAT time! Shoot me an email if you have any questions: email@example.com