Facebook recently announced three new features of the social networking platform – group chat, a fresh chat design, and video calling. The timing of the announcement is suspect considering that Google just launched, albeit on a limited scale, the Google+ platform.
The new group chat feature allows Facebook users to create a group chat without the need for creating a group first. The new chat design, on the other hand, improves on how chat looks on wide screens. There is a now a side panel where you see the people you chat with the most and which tells you whether they are online or not.
The third announcement is the biggest one, and the one seen as an answer to the Google+ launch – Facebook video chat using Skype. This has been an expected announcement since numerous hints point to a new Skype-powered Facebook video chat feature. The video chat is browser-based, which means you do it inside Facebook. But where Google+’s Hangout allows group video chat, Facebook’s Skype chat is only one-on-one, for now. One cool feature of Facebook video chat though is that you can leave video voicemails.
Video chat is live now, so you can go ahead and try it. Share us your impressions in the comments section.