While Skype currently rules the video conference market, a new product is hoping to change all that with Facebook integration. It’s called SocialEyes, and it allows Facebook users to connect with their friends and with others who share their interests over the social networking site.
Users can connect with up to eight others at a time by utilizing their laptop’s front-facing camera, Facebook Connect and SocialEyes’ third-party video application. If a user spots a friend online, he can invite the friend to video chat in a separate window.
SocialEyes also allows users to create group video conferences based on common interests or hobbies. This could expand seniors’ social networks, not to mention their talents. A senior wanting to learn how to knit could connect with other Facebook users who list knitting as a common interest. Before long, tips, techniques and how-tos can be exchanged, all with the aid of video!
Those utilizing the group chat feature have the option of leaving the chat window open at all times. This lets them join or overhear any chats that occur within that designated group at any time. There are also pause and mute options for those times when a couple group members need to exchange some personal comments away from the larger group.
SocialEyes’ founder likens this feature to employees talking in an office. By this, he means that a conversation may start in one cubile but quickly grow to include employees from adjacent cubicles. It may also move to a private office or result in a closed-door discussion, if appropriate.
While we appreciate the convenience of these added features, we’re not sure they’re convenient so much as they’re kind of creepy. The idea of maintaining a constant fly-on-the-wall status isn’t exactly appealing. Plus, suspicions and hurt feelings could brew if two members involved in a nine-person video chat room decide to go private for a few moments.
All in all though, SocialEyes seems like it will provide a great way for seniors to maintain contacts with friends and family, as well as to expand their circle of friends by bonding over common interests. Visit SocialEyes.com to sign up for this free service.