Skype becomes more social with Facebook

Skype has partnered with Facebook by integrating its Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) apps with the popular social networking platform to allow its users to hook up with their Facebook friends.

The newly introduced Skype version 5.0 allows Skype users to make calls to Facebook friends directly on mobile or landline phones. The new service also allows users to send SMS messages or make free Skype-to-Skype calls to their Facebook friends. In addition, it features a Facebook tab and integrates Facebook’s news feeds.

Skype said that it’s so-called "mood messages" allows users to post status updates to Facebook. More functionality, such as the ability to make calls to any friend who has posted their phone number on Facebook, is added once the user agrees to sync their Facebook account.

Commenting on the partnership, Facebook Developer Network’s director Ethan Beard said, “We're working with companies such as Skype to make it easy to find your friends anytime you want to connect.”

Mike Bartlett, product development director at Skype, said that they brought the social elements of Facebook together with the deeper communication aspects of Skype in one place.

The new service will also let video conferencing for up to ten people. The client will be made available for free, but the video conference call feature will eventually become a paid-for feature.

Luxembourg-based Skype, which channels voice, video and text conversations over the Internet, was founded in 2003.