Coming soon: Facebook Voice Chat

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Soon, Skype may be facing some new competition from an unlikely source: Facebook.

The social networking website, which reported more than 300 million users yesterday, will offer a voice chat component in the fourth quarter of 2009 (just a few weeks away).

The service, Vivox Web Voice for Facebook, which is currently in closed beta mode, will allow users to participate in live, real-time conversations with people listed on their friends list. It requires users to download a plug-in. After the installation is complete, users can then choose between chatting with one other person or setting up a group chat.

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The company behind the Facebook Voice Chat is Vivox, a Massachusetts-based company, which provides voice chat services for Internet games such as Second Life.

By using Web Voice for Facebook, "Users can have virtual reunions, play games or conduct meetings," a Vivox press release stated.

Later on, Vivox has plans to allow non-Facebook users to join the conversation by providing them with free dial-in-numbers, CNET reports.

Vivox co-founder Monty Sharma told CNET that the addition of Facebook Voice Chat technology will also enable application developers to use the service in future applications and games.

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