Skype/Facebook integration introduces the future of communication
The Skype/Facebook merger missing from last week’s Facebook announcement has emerged with the release of Skype 5.0 for Windows. Rumors that Facebook would buy Skype had been circulating. On Thursday, those rumors were put on hold temporarily with the announcement of Skype 5.0 with new and improved web-based calling that is deeply integrated with Facebook.
Skype and Facebook joined at the hip
The Skype/Facebook integration can be experienced immediately after downloading Skype 5.0 for Windows free of charge at Skype. According to ZDNet,users will find a new interface that joins Facebook’s News Feed and the Skype phonebook at the hip. Working directly from Skype, users can update their Facebook status messages, comment and “like” Facebook content. With the Facebook Phonebook opening up in Skype, users can text and call their friends’ mobiles and landlines through Facebook Connect.
How Facebook works on Skype
Skype’s Facebook integration is “sophisticated and sleek” according to Mashable. In Skype 5.0, the new Facebook tab in the Skype home area opens to the user’s Facebook News Feed and Facebook Phonebook. Viewing the Facebook News Feed in Skype looks no different, except for the two Skype buttons below each status update: SMS or call. The Skype buttons show up when the Facebook friends posting the update have their phone numbers in their Facebook profile. If Facebook friends are on Skype, they can connect with free Skype calls. In addition to Facebook integration, Skype 5.0 for Windows also features enhanced 10-way group video calling, enhanced contact lists and a total makeover of the Skype user experience.
A force to be reckoned with
Skype/Facebook integration is part of Skype’s strategy to embed in all existing connected devices, according to gigaom.com. Skype wants its IM, voice and SMS services embedded as an API in everything from TVs to iPhones — a strategy that has been successful for Netflix. Om Malik writes that the Skype/Facebook synthesis has Skype well on its way to become the communications console of the 21st century. By integrating with Skype, Facebook can dominate both new and old school social networking. Now Skype and Facebook are in front of people at the same time, taking their time and attention away from Google.