Facebook's 'Awesome' Announcement to Be Skype-Powered Group Video Chat

  Facebook's invitation for the event has a couple of messages icons and a profile pic, a subtle hint at video chat
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company was launching something

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company was launching something "awesome" the next week. A short while later, the company made it official, sending invitations to an event on July 6. But it didn't reveal any details on the announcement.

The latest rumors, which have been confirmed by different sources, say that Facebook is launching a group video chat option, powered by Skype, but built by Facebook.

Facebook users will be able to get together for video chat using the in-browser app or a desktop component, though it isn't clear whether this means Skype or a Facebook-built app.

The move makes sense for Facebook, which has long been rumored to be adding voice and video chat options to the site and it's also an interesting move because of the ongoing Skype acquisition by Microsoft and the Google+ launch.

Facebook has been rumored of building a solid video and voice chat component for the site. It's a natural expansion to the existing chat and the social core of Facebook.

And Facebook was said to be talking with Skype to power the feature, this has been happening for months, since fall last year. When Skype 5 was launched, it featured Facebook integration, support for the contacts list and with the latest update for Facebook chat as well.

While it is doubtful that Microsoft's intention of buying Skype had anything to do with the plans, since the talks have clearly been happening before all of this, Miscrosoft does have a stake in and a very cosy relationship with Facebook.

And this week, Google+ was launched, one of the most touted features being Hangouts, a free, group video chat app. Again, since Facebook's plans will be revealed next week, the move is clearly not a direct response to Google+, but it does put Facebook on more equal terms, at least for now.

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By    2 Jul 2011, 08:18 GMT