Facebook users could soon be able to enjoy having high fidelity voice conversations with their friends and other members on the social networking platform, as the website is reportedly adding “voice chat” to its offering in the coming few weeks.
The new voice chat feature will be incorporated by Vivox, a Boston-based firm that specialises in offering integrated voice service for video games and virtual worlds, according to CNet.
The service, which is presently in its closed beta version, will enable millions of Facebook users to have high-quality conversations with the other members of the website.
The users will just need to have a plug-in, and once it’s installed, Facebook chat will be available to any third-party app that requires the voice chat technology.
Vivox will be providing calling numbers to the non-Facebook users to participate in voice conferences of their friends using Facebook voice chat - just as users can do nowadays with web conferencing servces.
Discussing the same, the company’s spokeswoman Karen Blondell said, “As big as your group is, you can hold conference calls, podcasts. You can have two people in a channel, or several”.
The new feature also presents a big opportunity for the developers’ community to come up with voice-enabled applications for the hugely popular social networking platform, which has recently reached an incredible landmark of having 300 million active users per month.
This is big and potentially game changing. It would propel Facebook into the big-hitters list and allow it to rival the likes of Skype which has 481 million accounts. VoIP would also allow Facebook to build revenue streams at a later stage (e.g. adverts in calls). Myspace and Skype already have a similar partnership although Facebook could bring voice integration to another level altogether.