Yes, millions prefer text chat even to voice chat, because they don't have to be all synchronous with a lot of people who apparently never sleep and want to start long conversations while the rest of us are indulging in the occasional cat nap or nip of chemical recreation (which mostly means, at this point, the kind of vitamins and nutritional supplements that can make you sound just as stupid as the good stuff, especially the "Gaaaaahh" after you try to chug a mug of guaranteed, brain-boosting, pro-hormonal lean muscle growth powder that gives you the rush of 'roid rage and mellow lack of a sense of anticipation that will let you enjoy it. Though obviously beneficial, most of that stuff tastes like the high-fiber version of the kind of sun tea often capped in two-liter bottles tossed by the side of the highway by truckers who don't have time for a rest stop.)
And yes, many of us avoid the whole thing by pretending the mics we need for Skype of audio chat disappeared with teenage nephew the COD addict, and that the webcam on the laptop never worked (despite all the effort we put into finding a really good quality bit of electrical tape to put over it after doing a story about that high school that used student webcams to spy on teenagers making out.
But Facebook! Facebook is a place designed for those with no sense of privacy, propriety or boundaries between their friends or professional colleagues and the twists their psyches undergo in the process of changing out of work clothes and into underwear or jammies they just leave on for days while compulsively Liking things and trying to video chat one random Friend after another.
I'm frankly surprised someone as in touch with personal tech and social networking as you, Peter, would be surprised Facebook wants to get into video chat and that their execs are still so impressed at being able to see their faces on screen that other people in the FB offices often send them down to the convenience store on the corner so they can watch themselves on the security monitor buying a pack of gum.
You are right that FB sounded a little too impressed with itself about the fake-anticipation-building part of the announcement, considering it's only video chat.
On the other hand, you also have to understand just how famous FaceBook (and therefore everyone connected to it) is.
Somebody made a movie about it!
There were actual stars in it.
The stars got to go on David Letterman and Saturday Night live.
The movie was so famous FB founder Mark Zuckerberg went on Saturday Night Live for a hilarious cameo/skit in which he stood around looking more wooden than a cigar-store Indian but far more uncomfortable looking.