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I’m really excited about the Skype / Facebook video integration.  I have heard rumblings about this from inside of Skype for quite sometime now so it is great to see them finally pushing this out.  (Thanks to Simon for being my model in the test photos)  Try it out for yourself here:  http://www.facebook.com/videocalling
 
Here are a few of my initial thoughts upon trying it:
  • A .jar file for Mac users?  Really?  This is a pretty scary piece of install for a novice user.  The installation was kind of dodgy and didn’t really give a good clue of what was happening.  Also had to restart my browser to get anything to work.
  • There is no ringtone.  This is a really weird experience.  The browser basically does an overlay when you are calling someone, but you don’t really get the sense that anything is happening.  Also happens on the other end of things (receiving a call).  Part of key Skype branding is that signature ringtone.  I’m shocked that they didn’t get this included in the experience somehow.
  • Little to no Skype branding.  The only real indication that this is running on Skype network is a tiny logo on the videocalling homepage.  After install you will never see Skype again apart from a tiny logo when connecting.  Someone must have wanted to get that deal done with Facebook so badly that they basically allowed Skype to be stripped out of it completely.  Biz Dev FAIL! 
  • Strange surfacing of settings – The mic / video settings on the call is a bit disturbing.  It is good to surface these things, but perhaps behind a setting dropdown.  It makes it too clickable right off the bat when you probably don’t want to change this very often.
  • No hang up button – On Mac, you get a message saying to close the window to end the call.  This is weird and totally inconsistent with Skype’s usual interfaces.

Things that I like about the app:
  • Great video – The video quality is great.
  • Integrated video messages for offline folks – This is one thing that Skype is sorely missing.  Good to see that they have this flow integrated.
  • Facebook friends finally have video!
Features that I wish for:
  • Integrated chat under video window
  • Mute button
  • Push to talk
  • Ability to share media – like pictures
  • Ability to record 
  • Skype native client integration – So my Facebook friends who are on chat show up in my Skype app and I can chat / video with them from there
Am I missing anything right off the bat???  Leave a comment with your wishlist or thoughts.  Or better yet, ping me on video!

 

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