There are a few video-calling options for the iPhone. The built-in FaceTime functionality works very well but is only an option if the person you are calling is using an Apple device (iPad, iPhone, or Mac). Similarly, Skype is a powerful video chat tool, but without a good connection and if your quarry doesn't use Skype, you're out of luck. So, a video chat tool using Facebook is very enticing. Seen - Video Calls for Facebook promises just that, but does it deliver or is it yet another feature-rich, connection-starved video chat app?
Upon installation, you are prompted to sign in to your Facebook account to see if any friends use the app. Seen is fairly new, so the odds are that they do not, but like all good Facebook integrated apps, you can invite friends with the tap of a button. Once you do this, you can either wait for people to start using the app themselves or you can make a test call. The app is designed only for the iPhone right now, so you'll be limited in who you can chat with; because it works through the iPhone and not Facebook's systems, you can only chat with people who also have an iPhone, though the developers promise additional versions soon.
The system works quite well. Every test we performed, on both Wi-Fi connections and 4G wireless connections, was fast and looked good. Both video and audio chat functions worked exactly as promised and the ability to record and share is a nice addition. Of course, the main issue here is adoption. Will your friends use this app, and if they do, will it supplant use of FaceTime or Skype? The answer will depend on your social network, but if adoption picks up or even if only some of your friends use it, Seen is a well-built app with the right mixture of tools and speedy connections. We recommend it for anyone who prefers to connect via Facebook over Apple's social tools.