Facebook announces Skype-powered video calling, chat improvements

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Facebook has announced today that it will be bringing video chatting to its users, powered by Skype, and will bring several improvements to its chat features – including starting a group chat.

Video calling is only limited to Facebook-to-Facebook users and you will not be able to contact Skype users. Facebook has also made it simple to use, just click the “Call” button or will pop up when someone is trying to call you.

It is available now – if you want to help test it out – and in a couple of weeks will be turned on by default for all users.

Facebook’s other chat improvements include multi-chat, similar to every other IM service, and a new chat design that will put your most-messaged friends at the top, so you don’t have to keep scrolling down your long list of friends in order to contact someone.

While video calling is a big thing and was in the works for months – this is sort of playing catch up with Google+, who has this feature at its beta launch just a week ago. However, Google+ isn’t open to everyone and still is in invite-only stage until the end of July. This now puts Facebook more of an advantage to keep users from defecting to Google’s service, as Google+ still lacks several features that would entice me and others to continually use it.

Well, except for Chris.