Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the social networking site is to introduce a video chat feature for users, in partnership with Skype.
Over the past few weeks, Zuckerberg has been promising users an “awesome” new feature.
Many social networkers had already worked out the plans, both through the spread of rumour and gossip and the fact that they were suddenly able to search their Skype contacts to find new friends.
The fact that Skype is in the process of being bought by Microsoft, itself a major shareholder in Facebook, was also a clue as to the potential source of the development.
Such an advance could inject some much needed zest into Facebook, with figures seeming to indicate a lull in the number of new users in the UK and US.
Facebook will hope that the potentially increased length of time involved in video chat will keep users online for longer, allowing for greater exposure to their lucrative adverts.
Currently, users may post videos to their profile and converse with their friends using text chat, but this new feature will be seen as a big step for Facebook.
The move comes shortly after Facebook rivals Google+ launched a similar feature, a move which Zuckerberg gleefully suggested was a vindication of his company’s decision.
However, whereas Google+ currently allows for chat between multiple users at the same time, Facebook’s new feature will only enable one-on-one chat between its 750million users.
According to Zuckerberg, this will not last long, with many of Skype’s premium features rolled out in the coming months. One must wonder how many times can Facebook reinvent itself to try to keep on top of its competitors?