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Facebook Adds Video Calling, Group Chat

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —  

NEW YORK — Right on the heels of Google’s launch of its latest social-networking venture, Facebook said Wednesday that its 750 million users will now be able to make video calls on the site.

The feature will be powered by the Internet phone service Skype. Facebook also redesigned its chat feature, so that the people a user messages the most often show up first.

To make video calls, Facebook users with webcam-equipped computers have to select the friends they want to chat with. In the chat window that pops up, clicking on a small blue video icon brings up the video chat feature. Currently there is no option to video chat more than one person. That feature is available on Google Plus, a social service that Google began testing last week with a small number of invited users.

Facebook is also adding a group chat option. This works much the same way as the group chat on Google Plus. Once you are chatting with one friend, you can click an icon to add more people to the conversation.

Facebook’s new products come after a relatively quiet period for the world’s largest online social network. Zuckerberg, 26, said the company is embarking on “launching season 2011.” Users can expect “a lot of stuff coming out” from Facebook in the next couple of weeks and months, he said at an event at the company’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.

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