Built-in video calling with Firefox (“Firefox Hello”)

After reading Nicholas Nethercote’s blog post about using Firefox for one-to-one video calling, I thought I’d try this myself. Note that contrary to what he’s written, the feature (known as “Firefox Hello”) remains in beta as of Firefox 33 being officially released.

The feature is incredibly simple to try out, and seems to “just work”. First, install and run Firefox 34 Beta. Next, locate the “Firefox Hello” feature under the menu:

Firefox Hello menu item

Firefox will generate a link: simply copy and send this to the remote recipient (who must also be running Firefox Beta):

Firefox Hello link

When they click on the link, you’ll see a notification in Firefox of an incoming call:

Firefox Hello incoming call

Simply click to accept, and hey presto:

Firefox Hello call in progress

You can pop out and expand the call window if needed:

Firefox Hello pop out window

To summarise: no setup needed, point-to-point calling without having to sign up and into a third-party privacy-invading service, and an existing installed base of millions of people. Exciting stuff.

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