It wasn’t long ago when the idea of chatting face to face with video was considered futuristic and pie in the sky thinking. But now many of us do it on a regular basis with people all over the world. For free. Let’s not forget how amazing these times we live in are.
Web Video Chat
It has been possible to chat via the Internet using webcams for years thanks to services such as Skype, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger. But in many ways it’s only this week that the idea has come of age.
This is due to a couple of new services in the form of Hangouts on Google+ and Skype on Facebook. Both of which bring new features and easy-to-use video chat into the mainstream.
Google+ is a new integrated social network from Google currently in beta testing. And one of its many features is Hangouts, a simple-to-use video chat service which can be used for one-on-one chats or for groups of people of up to 10 at a time to come and go.
The group video chat element works exceptionally well and will be recognizable to anyone who uses other Google products. The one-on-one element isn’t quite so accomplished, but luckily for us there is an alternative.
Skype On Facebook
Skype video chat has now been integrated into Facebook, showing up as an option right on the homepage and one your friends’ profiles. This comes after Microsoft acquired Skype, and it clearly wants to make it pay by placing it on the biggest site in the world.
Skype already offers group chat, but it isn’t free, requiring one user to be a premium service subscriber. This means that Skype on Facebook only caters to one-on-one video chats, but it does so with ultimate ease. You can now chat with any of your Facebook friends without any kind of effort.
Google+ Hangouts and Skype on Facebook offer different experiences and will cater to different needs. The former is great for group video chats, the latter for instantly connecting with friends on a one-on-one basis. Both are good additions to a bustling sector.
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