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Facebook Announces Private Communication Channels

Mark Zuckerberg stood in front of a packed room of media and technology folks this morning and announced some exciting tools for the, now confirmed 750 million users of the Facebook platform.

The major announcement:

Group Chat | New Chat Design | Video Calling powered by Skype

Not a surprise. We heard the rumblings that this was coming.

The overall announcement and product demonstration lasted no more than 30 minutes.

  • Group Chat: Enabled today, only for text messages (video group chat capability will be coming “soon”)
  • New Chat Design: This is welcome news. Also rolling out today. Allows better visibility of your friends online – great for those of us with larger monitors
  • Video Calling, powered by Skype: Rolling out today. Allows friends to have one-on-one video conversations through an embedded Skype client. Today it’s all the free one-on-one conversations. Tony Bates, Skype CEO, hinted that there could be some future integration of paid Skype components coming down the road.

Again, all of these features are rolling out today.

Ben Parr, from Mashable, asked the Facebook team a great question – he asked how they, primarily Zuckerberg, felt about the new Google+ service and the Google Hangouts; which are quite similar in function to this new group interaction announced by Facebook.

What was funny to all of us watching and listening, is that Zuckerberg decided to deviate from the question and give a non answer.

Instead Zuckerberg restated his thoughts on the short and mid-term direction of how social interaction is going to be fueled by multiple organizations working together and driving innovation.

To get started head to the link HERE.

Let us know when your experience with the group and video chatting features.

James Hickshttp://about.me/jameshicks
James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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