Facebook and Skype announce video sharing partnership

Social networking giant Facebook and video chat leader Skype have announced a video sharing partnership enabling Facebook users to place Skype calls directly to any of their Facebook ‘Friends’ without having to leave the firm’s website.

Facebook users do not need to have Skype already on their system, with installation of a Java plug-in the only requirement.

The partnership builds on the existing alliance between the two companies, which enabled users to message Facebook friends or ‘Like’ their status updates directly from within the desktop version of Skype.

“This is an exciting step for us as it represents Skype’s first big step on the web, and because we know this has the potential to unlock even more conversations and make the experience on the web even more social,” said Neil Stevens, Skype’s vice president and general manager for consumer, in a statement.

“The partnership with Facebook makes fantastic business sense for Skype and gives us an unprecedented opportunity to offer Skype’s voice and video calling products to more than 750 million active users on Facebook,” he added.

The announcement of the deal came just a week after the launch of Google+, a rival social network from search giant Google, which includes video calling as part of its Hangout feature. While Google+ supports group calling, Facebook Video chat is limited to one-on-one communication. Group calling is available from the desktop version of Skype, but requires paying for a subscription to Skype Premium.

The alignment of Facebook and Skype makes sense for Microsoft, whose $8.5bn purchase of Skype was in June given the go ahead by US anti-trust regulators. The Seattle, Redmond  based company also owns a 1.6 per cent stake in Facebook, having invested $240m in 2007.

One comment

  1. Avatar Headshots Los Angeles 07/07/2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Great, No more hanging out in my underwear in front of the computer. Gotta great dressed, brush my teath, and comb my hair before i logon in the morning. thanks facebook.

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