Skype's Latest Version Includes Facebook Integration

written by: Richard Kastelein

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After we wrote about rumours of a Skype Facebook marriage last week, Skype has just released version 5.0 which includes Facebook integration - and that's huge news. Particularly when viewed through the lens of Social TV, future teleconferencing in the living room, and open standards for developers (both Skype and Facebook have API's). Panasonic Viera Cast is already carrying Skype in their new models of TV sets. 

Here's the good news:

Facebook’s news feed is included in Skype, allowing Skypers to read and post status activity.
Skype users can call out to phone numbers listed in friends’ Facebook profiles.
—They can make a Skype-to-Skype with any Facebooker who is also a Skype user.

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They are also throwing in video calling for 10+ people. Give me an app on TV that shows them all on the TV landscape beside the World Cup or the Olympics and I am happy to party with friends worldwide!

It's pretty simply for now - after one logs in via Facebook Connect, they can see Facebook News Feeds with the Skype interface, post status updates that can be synced with Skype mood messages and comment and like friends’ updates and wall posts.

You can also call or SMS your Facebook friends on their mobile phones and landlines via Skype on top of making free Skype-to-Skype calls if your Facebook friends are also Skype contacts.

This is a coup for Skype - as it really adds value to the product. Both Skype and Facebook have over half a billion registered users - this is a massive marriage.

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that 19 per cent of Americans as well as 23 per cent of U.S. Internet users — have used video conferencing online or on their mobile phones and the number of users who use video chat on a daily basis has doubled over the past year.

Skype is currently filing for an IPO, so it's a great move.

In 2010, a report by TeleGeography Research stated that Skype-to-Skype calls accounted for 13% of all international call minutes in 2009. Out of the 406 billion international call minutes a total of 54 billion were used by Skype calls.

ComScore reports that Facebook attracted 130 million unique visitors in May 2010, an increase of 8.6 million people.

Facebook is the most popular social networking site in several English-speaking countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom,[106] and the United States. In regional Internet markets, Facebook penetration is highest in North America (69 percent), Middle East-Africa (67 percent), Latin America (58 percent), Europe (57 percent), and Asia-Pacific (17 percent).


About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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