You can now make video calls on Facebook, thanks to a new Skype-powered feature the social network launched Wednesday.
During the product announcement, Mark Zuckerberg described how his elderly neighbor in Palo Alto asked if he could to video chat his grandson on Facebook — without the hassle of setting up a new account or downloading a program. “Tune in,” Zuckerberg told him.
It’s not quite as seamless as Zuckerberg’s neighbor was hoping, however. The first time you try to video chat someone or answer a call, you will indeed be asked to download a program. The chat window will then ask you to select some Flash settings.
After that, the feature works like “a mini-Skype client,” as Skype CEO Tony Bates mentioned during the announcement. It also has a neat option to record a video message if the person you’re calling doesn’t answer. Here’s a brief walk-through in pictures.