August 10, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The first question people asked after Facebook debuted its Skype-powered video calling service – after, wondering if Google Hangouts made the company nervous – was if the social networking giant would introduce mobile video calling. The answer is yes based on the recently released Facebook Messenger application.
Seth Weintraub of Apple tracking site 9to5Mac found that there are components of the iOS Facebook Messenger app associated with video calling. Soon after, HowToArena discovered that the Android Facebook Messenger app also contains references to an Admin Video Call feature locked away but inactive within the app.
It would appear that Facebook has plans to introduce cross-platform mobile video chat to users of its just launched Facebook Messenger. Some may wonder why the company didn’t just include that feature at launch, but it’s probably not quite ready for primetime. Remember that Facebook and Skype said it would solidify the desktop video calling experience before adding new features, so the same was probably done for Messenger. The group messaging app supports text communication and sharing of photos, so Facebook probably wants to have users acclimated in a stable environment before making video calling an option.
I’m curious to see what would be the advantage of this for Skype (if the company is involved in this as well) because it just introduced video calling for Android. The premise for desktop calling was that it could be used to upset Facebook users for Skype’s premium services, but this would make mobile Skype usage even less likely.Whatever the motivation or likelihood of Skype’s involvement, it looks as though Facebook Messenger will support video chat as well as text-based communicat,