In a bid to keep its uber-popular social network as up-to-date as Google's under-populated network, Facebook unveiled a new array of chat products today, including group chat and video calling powered by Skype. "Now, whenever you browse to a friend's profile, you'll see a new button nestled between the 'Message' and 'Poke' buttons that says 'Call,'" explains TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid. "Click that, the other user will see a popup asking if they want to accept a call, and you’ll be immediately connected (you'll need to install a small plugin the first time you use the service)." Here's what techies think of the new service after the video promo:
Is it better than Google? Swordfish Corp. founder Ben Metcalfe doesn't see why anyone would use the new Facebook service. "Is the Skype/Facebook integration nothing more than a defense against Google+ Hangouts?" he tweets. "I don't get why I'd otherwise use this over skype." But tech journalist Peter Bright is impressed by its performance. "Video chat in Facebook is a logical extension of the existing chat features, and the quality in a quick test beat the shit out of Google Poz," he tweets. Meanwhile, comedian Rob Delaney cracks wise: "Facebook Video Chat: Like ChatRoulette, but with real-life consequences within your relationships & social circles."