Just yesterday, social networking giant Facebook has just launched their very own Skype powered Video Calling. This newest feature from Facebook works with all official versions of the Mac OS X and Windows. As of now, it doesn’t work with Mac OS X Lion because it hasn’t been released to the public yet. So if you are running a pre-release version of Lion, then you are out of luck, unless of course you perform the workaround that we are about to teach you.
OSX Lion has now reached the Gold Master status just about a week ago and if you have an account in the Mac Dev Center, then you should be able to try Apple’s next major Mac OS release. The most likely reason why Facebook’s video calling is not yet supported can only be attributed to the fact that OS X Lion is not yet commercially available. However, as stated above, there is a way for you to get the video chat working.
What we are about to do here is to trick Facebook into thinking that you are running a supported operating system. In order to accomplish that we will need to change your browser’s user agent. Below are three of the most popular browsers (used in Mac) and how to switch the user agent using each:
If you are using the latest version of Safari, you simply have to navigate in the System Preferences and under the Advanced tab, enable the Developer option. Once enabled, you will a new option on the menu bar called “Develop”. Under the Develop menu option, you should be able to set your user agent to a different one that works with Facebook Video Calling Service. Most of the options available should work well with the new Facebook feature so just pick one that works and start using the service after the final step which we provide below. Refer to the image below:
Thanks to Firefox‘s user community, changing your user agent is as simple as installing a plugin. Just download and install the User Agent Switcher 0.7.3 plugin from here. Once installed navigate to Tools and switch your user agent to Internet Explorer 8. Again refer to the image provided below:
There are two ways in Chrome with regards to changing the user agent. First is by entering a simple command into the terminal. Before entering this code, make sure that you close Chrome first:
open /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app –args -user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_6_8; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.2.1 Safari/525.19?
The other method is similar to what we did with Firefox, you will need to install a plugin. Just download and install User-Agent Switcher for Chrome here and you can easily switch your user agent from within the browser. Refer to the image:
After you have successfully changed your user agent, just navigate over to facebook.com/videocalling. Click on Get Started and Facebook will set up your account for the first time. You will be required to install a plug-in for Video Calling, so go ahead and do that. Once successfully installed, just open any friend’s chat box and click on the Video button to start video calling.
Yesterday, Facebook launched its Skype-powered video chat feature which is all done in-browser. Many are speculating that Facebook has been working on this feature for quite some time but have to release it shortly due to a similar feature in Google+, Hangouts. One can only assume that things have just been made more difficult for Google with this new Facebook feature.