Facebook is in a bit of hot water. After an IPO disaster and a bad taste left in investor’s mouths, the social networking company is desperate to prove that it has original ideas, a way to generate more revenue, and that it can compete with the likes of Google Plus and other networks. The most recent invention that Facebook has come up with isn’t original at all, but it’s one way the company hopes to entice more Facebook users.
In test phase right now, Facebook has included a “Call” button next to some profile names. Facebook Call is meant to replace Google Hangouts and even competition from former Facebook exec Sean Parker’s Airtime. As you might imagine, clicking on the Facebook Call button will allow users to conduct video chats with those people who are current online via Facebook. The Call feature might seem like a new idea, but, in fact, Facebook has tried to implement video chats before.
An Old Idea Recycled
When Facebook first debuted, a Call option was available. Unfortunately for the social network, the placement of this button was all wrong. Facebook managed to stick this call option in a series of dropdown menus and people never noticed that it existed. Now, Facebook is attempting to broadcast the newly revamped Call feature by letting all Facebook fans know about the call option. As mentioned, this call feature is only available to a select few at the moment, but it will roll out to all Facebook users once the option is proven successful.
There’s no doubt that Facebook will get a lot of slack for implementing a Call button right after Google Plus has created hangouts. It’s also no coincidence that Zuckerberg and crew have decided to give chat one more go around now that Sean Parker’s Airtime is taking off. Then again, a chat feature within Facebook makes a great deal of sense, and I’m betting that a lot of users actually adopt this feature if the word gets out in time.
Where to Find the Call Option
If you want to see how the Call button works (and you can access the option at this time), you will find that new Call feature listed right next to the “message” button. Here are some complete steps: visit a friend’s page, look for the message button, and then click the call button. If that friend is online, you will then be able to hold a videoconference with your friend through Facebook. Of course, you both need to have webcams in order to complete the call, but that’s really a given.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the new Facebook Call button gets a lot of attention or if it will simply be ignored. Right now, it seems like the action over at Facebook has slowed down, and this reviewer is betting that the social network doesn’t last much longer. Then again, some people can’t get enough of Facebook and those people might want to call each other – even if those calls happen amidst a virtual Facebook wasteland. Will you use this new call feature? Let me know!