Oh how times have changed.

Rewind to 2004 and there's a more than strong possibility that you missed the announcement from MySpace that it was making video calling available to its users. Indeed, back then you may not have been aware of MySpace or social networking at all. I know I wasn't taking much interest and once embarrassed myself by asking someone in the know to explain what MyFace [sic] was all about.

Even if you were an early adopter and avid MySpace user , chances are you won't have made much use of the video chat option. Mainly because very few notebooks had cameras built in back then and, although, not that expensive you had to make a conscious effort to go and buy a webcam of some kind to use the service. Moreover, it felt like you were stepping into new and unknown territory with no guarantee that others would be similarly equipped to take your call.

Fast forward seven years and, today,  it's a totally different landscape. Most of us now carry a camera around all the time, on our mobiles, and no self-respecting netbook or tablet is complete without one.

We're all video enabled, even my dad who at 83 has just bought his first webcam.

So, when Facebook teamed up with Skype to add video chat to its repertoire this month we all stood up and took notice. It's not the first to do so but now we're ready and there will be someone with a camera at the other end of the line.

The time for video chat, it seems, has come.

This article is written by Alan Stevens and sponsored by Avaya. The opinions reflected in this piece are solely those of Alan Stevens and may not reflect those of Avaya management