Is Facebook’s New Feature a Response to Google THREAT?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has begun testing a new “Call” button in profile pages to promote its video chat capabilities, which it launched in a partnership with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Skype nearly a year ago.

Don’t Miss: Is Facebook OFFICIALLY Blaming Nasdaq for Botched IPO?

TechCrunch first noticed the little button showing up at the top of people’s profiles. It seems the button only shows up if a person is online — a glance at one’s friends list is enough to confirm that, but Facebook hasn’t said anything about the change.

In the past, the only way to video chat was to click on a tiny video icon at the top of chat windows. It’s likely Facebook realized few people were taking advantage of the service simply because they weren’t aware of it. While industry watchers may have been aware of the change last year as Skype and Facebook teamed up, holding an event for the press, it was made available to Facebook users with little fanfare — the change may have escaped many.

Now, responding to lower numbers than anticipated — and mounting competition from Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google+ Hangouts and the recently launched Airtime — Facebook is trying to draw attention to the feature, which now appears on the top right of a person’s profile.

Investing Insights: Wall Street Brief: Dells BIG Bid, Facebook BLAMES Nasdaq, RIM CEO’s Millions.

More from The Cheat Sheet