Facebook and Skype are teaming up for extensive integration of the social network in the next version of Skype’s software, sources tell AllThingsDigital.
The partnership will allow Facebook users to easily log into Skype using Facebook Connect and will give users the ability to text message, voice chat, and even video chat with their Facebook friends from within Skype. It’s expected to appear in Skype’s upcoming 5.0 version, which will emerge from beta testing in the next few weeks.
The deal is a win for both companies: Facebook gets access to a robust voice and video calling platform, and Skype will see a massive surge in new users from Facebook’s 500 million users. Skype has 124 million people using its software once a month and 550 million registered users of its own. There will certainly be a great deal of overlap between existing Skype and Facebook users, but the integration will also lead many users to try out Skype who never saw a reason to in the past.
There are still many questions about what this partnership means: Will Skype eventually bring in-browser voice and video chat to Facebook’s site? That’s definitely one advantage that a service like Gmail’s voice and video chat has. And what does the partnership mean for Skype and Facebook mobile apps?
As AllThingsDigital’s Kara Swisher mentions, the arrangement will help Facebook with its international presence since Skype is more popular among international users.
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