Skype has extended its integration with Facebook, allowing users to send instant messages directly from the VOIP app to Facebook Chat users. Meanwhile, Microsoft's bid to buy Skype gets closer to reality.
world's leading voice over IP service in the process of being acquired
by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for $8.5
billion, has expanded its integration with Facebook.
Skype 5.5 Beta version for Windows
will now let users
send instant messages to their Facebook
Chat friends directly from Skype.
will be able to check the new Facebook contacts tab within Skype to see when a
Facebook friend they want to chat with is online and can then click to start an
instant messaging conversation.
This is a big
deal because millions of people use Facebook's Chat application daily and the
integration will keep users from having to leave Skype to chat in Facebook.
Users may also
tap into the Facebook News Feed in Skype to "like" a friend's status
or comment on it, also without having to redirect to Facebook.
arguably should have been available when Skype and Facebook struck their
last October, when Skype began infusing
Facebook's News Feed and Phonebook into its platform.
Users sign in
through Facebook Connect, to access the Facebook tab to make free calls from
Skype to Facebook friends who are also Skype users.
who access their Facebook accounts from the VOIP application will embrace and
use this new IM and contacts functionality with gusto.
Skype and Microsoft form a cozy troika, with Facebook serving as the meat in
the social sandwich.
mentioned, Facebook enjoys increasingly tighter integration on the VOIP
platform. Microsoft surfaces Facebook profile info and Like buttons via its
Bing search engine, which also provides the external search for Facebook.
Less clear is
how the Skype-Facebook work evolves once Skype is under the auspices of
Microsoft. The software giant plans to spread the Skype technology across its
myriad collaboration software products. Ideally, Skype can become the unified
communications software hub for Microsoft.
and Facebook's social contacts can provide a powerful one-two punch for
Microsoft consumer and business customers alike.