Facebook recently enabled group chat and also video calling through Skype – two ways that make it easier for travellers to stay in touch with friends, families and workmates while on the road.You’ve long been able to use Facebook chat to IM an individual in your network, but Facebook recently expanded its chat capabilities, enabling you to add people to the chat.
If you start a chat on Facebook, at the top right of the chat box you’ll find an icon which looks like a gear. If you click on the gear icon, one of the options you’ll see is “Add friends to chat.” Click on that and a box will open, enabling you to type in the Facebook name of afriend you want to add to the chat.
So, if you are travelling for work or play and staying in a hotel 2,000 miles from home, you can chat with your kids, soul mate or any other friend in your network in one chat window – assuming they all use Facebook.
You might also use group chat to arrange a quick meeting with three or four or five people you work with to go over some problem or issue that may have cropped up.
It’s an easy way to keep the lines of communication open when you are mobile in the event that you don’t want to arrange a group phone call or video call, for example.
And, speaking of calls, Facebook recently partnered with Skype, bringing a very convenient video-calling solution to Facebook. Again, it’s another easy way to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues when doing your road-warrior thing.
To do the video calling, you open the chat window of a Facebook friend who is online, click the call icon (it looks like a video camera), and launch the call. Assuming both parties have webcams and microphones, a window opens up on your respective computers and you can have a video conversation much as you would using Skype outside of Facebook.
However, the resolution of the images of Facebook Skype appear even sharper than on Skype itself. At any rate, both group chat and Facebook video calling with Skype are great ways to communicate with friends, families and company associates when you are out of pocket.
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