Alliance formed as Microsoft are still in talks to purchase Skype.
7 July 2011 | Category: Online
Social networking empire Facebook is bolstering it services by adding Skype video chat.
The agreement between the two companies was announced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the company's Palo Alto, California headquarters and further cements the company's cooperation with software giant Microsoft, which is currently in talks to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion.
Skype was founded in 2003, and rose to popularity by allowing users to make free internet phone and video calls. The deal could be an enormous boost for Skype, which has about 145 million registered users. Facebook, according to Zuckerberg, has 750 million users. The video calling feature will be built directly into the Facebook chat function, according to Facebook video calling engineer Philip Su, allowing users to easily access the feature.
The move comes immediately on the heels of Google rolling out its own social networking service, Google+. Though many of the Google+ features are the same as those on Facebook, Google attracted users with a videoconferencing function that allows up to ten users to video chat. Facebook's initial videoconferencing function will be limited to one-on-one calls.
Microsoft, which owns a small amount of shares in Facebook, has already attempted to better Google with its own search engine, Bing, and hopes that its purchase of Skype will push the company farther ahead.