Facebook Messenger is expected to be getting a video chat feature soon. This isn't the first time we're hearing the speculation, but Facebook recently released a beta test of the new video feature to developers, according to a source cited by the Italian technology blog iPhoneItalia.
The source grabbed rough screenshots showing a very early and basic implementation of the video chat feature. As you can see above, they don't look very real: they're almost too basic, even for Apple's and Facebook's combined standards. The screenshot shows the app is running on an iPod, even though the source only talks about the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
Still, the rumor has some credibility for at least two reasons. First off, the same source has previously been correct about an upcoming Facebook Messenger feature. The app was rumored to let you chat with friends outside of the social network — this option has since been added.
Secondly, talk of video calling in Facebook Messenger began a good four months ago. Soon after the Facebook Messenger was released, it was discovered that the app had some video calling hints hidden in its code. They were present in both the Android and iPhone versions.
In the end, adding video chat to Facebook Messenger is a no-brainer. Whether or not this particular rumor is on the money doesn't really matter; given Facebook's partnership with Skype, I would be surprised if Palo Alto didn't eventually offer cross-platform video calling: on mobile, on the desktop, and on the Web.
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