Voice chat for Facebook users

The social utility’s some 300 million users will soon be able to download a plug-in and talk to each other out loud. This news is not just about Facebook; it reflects a trend. Online chat may never move away from text entirely, but voice chat’s footprint is definitely growing. “The new technology is not being offered by Facebook itself,” CNET reports. “Instead, it’s from Vivox, a Boston-based company that provides the integrated voice service for virtual worlds like Second Life and EVE Online, and which already has more than 15 million users worldwide. For Facebook users, it means being able to talk one-on-one with people on their friends lists as well as to participate in large group discussions. It also might add an audio component to some of their Facebook apps, including games: Vivox “is making its technology available to any third-party Facebook application developer,” CNET adds. I use this technology on Monday nights to hear (and discuss) presentations by educators ¬– fellow members of the International Society of Technology in Education – as (my avatar) Anny Khandr in Second Life. [See also “Facebook makes money, tops $300 million users” in the Washington Post.]

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