Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Facebook Getting Voice Chat

Voice chat will soon be rolled out through Facebook available to all of the users to make calls to their friends. You will both have to download the Vivox plug-in, but there is word that third parties will be able to call you who are not on Facebook.

"Look out, Facebook users: Here comes voice chat.

Sometime in the next few weeks, the social network's tens of millions of users will begin to be able to have high-quality voice conversations, even as its third-party developers are able to start including voice in their applications.

The new technology is not being offered by Facebook itself, however. Instead, it's from Vivox, a Boston-based company that provides the integrated voice service for virtual worlds like Second Life and EVE Online, and which already has more than 15 million users worldwide.

The service, which is currently in closed beta, will allow Facebook users to have high-fidelity conversations with anyone on their friends list. Each user, however, will have to download Vivox's plug-in. But once installed, the service works almost seamlessly with Facebook, and is intended for everything from one-to-one chat to large group discussions.

Further, even non-Facebook users will be able to participate, as Vivox plans to offer free dial-in numbers that will allow anyone to call into an existing conversation, much as is possible today with call-in phone conferences.

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