Facebook and Skype ‘set to announce deal’
The social networking site and internet telephony company are poised to announce a ‘far-reaching partnership’, according to reports
Facebook and Skype are on the verge of announcing a strategic partnership that would allow users of the social networking site to send text messages and make internet telephone calls from their Facebook profile page, according to technology news site All Things D.
The deal could help Facebook to see off the challenge posed by Google Voice, the search giant’s web-based telephony service, reports Kara Swisher.
She claims that Facebook and Skype “have tested small contact importer integrations before”, and that a formal arrangement between the two companies would help Facebook to “mesh communications and community more tightly together”.
Neither Facebook nor Skype have commented on the rumours. Facebook said: "We don't comment on rumour and speculation."
Facebook integration is expected to form part of the Skype 5.0 update, due in early October. The deal will ensure that Skype’s hugely popular internet telephony service is more easily available through the services and sites that web users spend the most time on.
Swisher said that the deal will allow users to call Facebook friends and send them text messages through Skype, which would support the social-networking site’s Facebook Connect platform. There may also be support for video calling through a webcam.
Facebook has more than 500 million users worldwide, while Skype has around 560 million registered users, with 124 million of those using the service at least once a month.
Facebook is also rumoured to be working on an "own-brand" mobile phone. Despite vehement denials from the social-networking site, speculation about a so-called “Facebook phone” persists, with mobile maker INQ believed to be the manufacturing partner for the initiative.
INQ, a division of Hutchison-Whampoa, has a long track record of integrating native Facebook and Skype apps in to its handsets.