By now, everybody who owns an iPhone 4 knows how cool FaceTime is. They're also probably frustrated with the fact that a) you need to make a call at least one time in order to verify that a friend has an iPhone 4 and can actually do FaceTime chats, b) you can't see when friends are on Wi-Fi and ready to talk, and c) you can't leave them a video message when they're off a Wi-Fi network or have their phone turned off.
An upcoming free iPhone app, FacePlant, hopes to change all of that. FacePlant is from the same folks who brought you 12seconds and Rally Up, so they had the necessary savvy to supply both the video messaging piece and the social networking feel that FacePlant provides.
Here's the concept: you sign up for a free FacePlant account, which consists of your name and iPhone 4 number. The app goes through your contacts list, and if there's anyone in that list who is registered with FacePlant, they show up on a list of contacts. If they're ready and willing to talk, their name shows up surrounded by a bright orange bar; if they're offline, their name is outlined in gray. Tapping an active (orange) name displays a dialog that asks if you want to make a FaceTime call, a voice call, or leave a video message.