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Daily Real Estate News  |  July 7, 2011  |   Facebook Launches Video Chat Feature
Video chatting is coming to Facebook through a deal with Skype, announced Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, at a news conference Wednesday.

Russell Haskins with Homes & Land Media told Inman News that he sees Facebook video chat feature a powerful tool for real estate professionals in landing new clients and reaching out to younger clients.

"I guarantee you people will be interviewing agents using this new tool, whether [agents] like it or not," Haskins told Inman News. "If you're not ready, they can click on another agent and call [that agent]. I think this is another [tool] separating tech-savvy agents versus those who are timid."

Other real estate pros say they see the value in the video conferencing feature for using with oversea clients or clients relocating from other states too.

To use the video chat tool on Facebook, you’ll soon be able to just click a button on your Facebook chat list or a friend’s profile page to connect. (A plug-in download will be required to make and receive calls.) Facebook’s new video conferencing tool does not allow for group chats and is not available on mobile phones. It currently can be accessed at facebook.com/videocalling, until it officially rolls out in the next few weeks.

Facebook’s announcement follows on the heels of last week’s Google+'s limited debut, a challenger to Facebook. Google+ offers video chatting for up to 10 people through its Hangouts tool. (Read more about Google+)

Source: “Facebook Offers Video Chat in Arrangement With Skype,” The New York Times (July 7, 2011) and “Ready or Not, Here Comes Facebook Video Chat,” Inman News (July 6, 2011)

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