Forget the browser wars. Social media is the new hot zone. A week after Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) introduced its Google+ social platform, Facebook fired back yesterday with a video messaging service built on Skype.

The idea is simple and in many ways compelling. Choose a contact from your list of friends and click on the video icon in the upper right corner of their page. Here’s a closer look at how it works. As you’ll see, there isn’t much difference between initiating a call and starting a text chat: