If Facebook’s news feed isn’t fast enough for you, there’s chat. And if you’re the type who finds chat too slow or not intimate enough, now there’s voice chat. Enter Vivox, a voice chat application in beta for Facebook.
After adding the app onto your Facebook account and downloading a browser plugin, you can use Vivox to place and accept “calls,” be they between Vivox chatters or via telephone. If you’re group chatting, other people can even call into your voice chats using special call-in numbers. You can try it out here, and see Vivox’s Facebook page here.
The app will bring some extra oomph to Facebook’s application platform, which has seen tepid in-depth development thanks in part to a buggy API and confusing documentation. In its defense, Facebook tried to jumpstart quality programming with its own “prototypes” lab, which announced its first projects–including its desktop notifier for Mac–last month.
Still, it’s odd that Facebook isn’t pursuing voice chat through its own internal chat application. While competent and well-build, it doesn’t yet allow voice or video chatting, and services like Vivox can’t integrate with that app. If Facebook wants people to spend time talking on their site, they may have to pull a Google and acquire a video-conferencing startup to catch up.