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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 appmarket.tv 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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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, 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).