Today Facebook called in media to its California headquarters in Palo Alto for what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said would be an “awesome” product launch.
According to NPR.org, Zuckerberg said Facebook is launching group chat, a new chat design and, as expected, Facebook will now feature video calling. The announcement comes just as Google launched its own social network called Google+, which emphasized privacy and had features like group chat and video calling built in.
Zuckerberg claims that Facebook’s video chat will work through a partnership with the popular instant messenger and video caller, Skype.
According to the Huffington Post, The group chat feature will let users chat with multiple friends at once by selecting “Add Friends to Chat.” According to Facebook, 50 percent of users are using the Groups feature, for things like co-ordinating events. Users can add friends that are not online at the time, and those friends will receive a summary of the chat later on. The feature rolls out today. The chat redesign takes into account the size of a user’s browser window and adjusts accordingly. Zuckerberg noted that users have found it difficult to start chats with the previous design. A new sidebar appears when the window is large enough and lists your most-messaged friends, even ones who are not online. A simplified chat tab will give users “one-click access” to chatting with friends. The new chat design will also roll out today.
“We have a very longstanding relationship with Microsoft,” said Zuckerberg, who also stated that Facebook had been working with Skype prior to Microsoft’s acquisition.
Zuckerberg also revealed that Facebook has hit 750 million users worldwide, with 4 billion pieces of information shared each day.