Facebook Messenger Versus Skype
So you want to video chat with someone – in other words, you want to Skype with someone, right? For years, Skype has been more of a verb than a noun. It is the unequivocal Gold Standard for video chatting. Or is it? A little over a year ago, the always-innovating folks at Facebook upped the ante by launching an instant video feature that allows folks to chat via cell phone with their contacts not just by texting, but face-to-face with video.
The Facebook Messenger app is cool because you don’t have to be on video during your entire chat. Instead, you can be on a traditional text chat and interject a quick live stream to your friends. The video pops up on a little window within your cell phone’s screen. In fact, Facebook Messenger’s video feature was designed to be used sparingly within a traditional chat. For example, if you’re looking at apartments and your roommate can’t make it in person, you can quickly shoot her quick videos of the various rooms of the apartment so she can thumbs up or down it.
Facebook Messenger is a quick, easy-to-use alternative to Skype. You’re already on Facebook, so Messenger is just super convenient. There’s no need to fire up Skype and scroll through to find your contact in a separate contact list. If you do want to have a one-on-one conversation rather than send a quick video to illustrate your text chat, Skype is best suited; Messenger does not have two-way video chat. Plus, Skype offers features that Messenger does not. For example, Skype lets you send documents and music files, specify if you’re available to video chat, shows when your contacts were active last, and have a group video chat.
Skype may still be the Gold Standard for conversational video chats, but Messenger is ideal for quick, on-the-go text communications that can be punctuated by video.