When Facebook announced its video calling feature in partnership with Skype, Skype CEO Tony Bates said it was his goal that video chat becomes ubiquitous through Facebook's large reach. However, that probably won't happen because many people just don't like video calling.
Video calling (or webcam chat) has been commercially available for over 10 years. Even when technology made it easier and more convenient, it never caught on. Now, Facebook and Skype claim it's going to catch on because, well, the Facebook-Skype version is easier and more convenient.
However, video calling just doesn't fit in with the way modern users interact with the computer. Video calling requires you to sit down and devote your whole attention (or at least a big part of it) to one person.
But if you think about the way you really use the Internet, you're almost always multi-tasking and interacting with multiple people at the same time. You chat with multiple people, interact with multiple profiles on Facebook, and tweet to multiple people.
So would group video calling or multiple video calls work?
It wouldn't because users don't want their interactions to come with obligations.
They want to leave when they want to, ignore someone when they want to, and do something else when they feel like it.
When your face is shown in a video, though, you feel socially obligated to extend basic courtesy and avoid basic social faux pas.
The concept of video chatting sounds great in theory and in commercials. (Almost every single video chatting commercial/plug features a grandfather waving to his grandchildren). And there are uses for them, like a soldier chatting with his family back home or two lovers who can't wipe the smile off their face.
It probably won't be ubiquitous, however, because it's just too intrusive and demanding compared to text communication.
Cell phone text messaging has already cut into voice calling. What makes Zuckerberg and Bates think that people will now make the leap to use video calling?