Digsby has created a new Facebook application allowing you to “video chat with all your Facebook friends for the first time ever right from the Facebook website and post screenshots of your ChatVille adventures to Facebook albums.” If you are not already using it, Digsby is the best all in one instant messaging platform out there. While I prefer to use TweetDeck to manage my own as well as our company social networking channels, the ability to integrate Gchat and Windows Messenger into one application (as well as AIM, Yahoo and ICQ, but who uses those anymore?!?) and to then create custom groupings of friends, coworkers and clients is especially convenient. Thankfully we have already covered Chatroulette but after receiving the pop-up notification from Digsby, (great potential for advertising?) I decided that in the interests of science, I would sign up. After acquiescing to the mandatory Facebook soul privacy-signing-away, I was ready to go:
ChatVille on FacebookInitial reactions:
1. Not (yet) fully  integrated with Digsby IM Client.

Maybe this is coming, but  just like you have to be signed into Gmail with a browser to take advantage of Gchat’s video feature, you have to be signed into Facebook and using the ChatVille application to video chat with your Faceobok friends. (Regular Facebook chat is integrated into Digsby.)  Digsby already includes an excellent a video chat feature allowing  you and a friend to video chat without both of you using Digsby,  but integrating the option to video chat with friends and random people directly from their standalone IM client would, if technically possible be interesting. Not to say that I would use it, but I could see it becoming popular. (See: Facebook Chat- A Window to Your Soul). 

2. Chatroulette-ish Aspect:

There is a Chatroulette-ish ability to “”Start New Game” which connects you to random users. From Keith Dsouza at Techie-Buzz:

“ChatVille let’s you video chat with random Facebook users in a safe environment while earning compliments, unlocking badges, and leveling up through positive experiences with other users…Your interactions are tied to your Facebook account under the hood so there are actionable consequences for inappropriate behavior.  We’ve also developed a proprietary system for weeding out the bad apples quickly and permanently.”

Apparently at the moment, “Everyone is engaged in conversation” and none of my Facebook or Twitter friends who are online are available to chat. Shucks! Given that this launched a few hours ago, I am not surprised, but also kind of relieved not to be “Nexted” by random people while I am at work! There is also the ability to “give compliments.” Testing of that will have to wait for another day…

Also of note, ChatVille is giving away an Ipad to the first person to unlock the Digsby Badge.

3. Will people use it? (After the free Ipad is gone)

Of my own 900 or so Facebook friends, maybe 30% are on Twitter. Of that maybe 15% are on Foursquare. Others have Skype but never sign onto it. Will the advent of new social networking platforms and applications lead to a greater number of people using these extended services, or will the same 30% or so of us already out on the edge of social media innovations just have  another platform to use?

Of courseRead the Privacy Policy before signing up!  I am not a lawyer, but but it does not say exactly whether or any text  or video is being captured and recorded anywhere,  or, if like Facebook they will save your data forever. Overall, a very well designed and technically impressive application that is worth checking out. Could quite possible succeed, as it appears to have addressed the issues that have plagued Chatroulette.