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Facebook adds Skype video chat

Gas your face off
Thu Jul 07 2011, 09:00

SOCIAL NETWORKING MONSTER Facebook has done what everyone expected it to do and added a video calling feature to its pages.

The service comes courtesy of Skype, which Microsoft intends to buy, and reminds us of similar services on the newly launched Google+ as well as Skype itself, and Microsoft's MSN messenger.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is the news that Facebook now has 750 million active users, a significant increase against the 500 million users we used to think it had. From now these three quarters of a billion people will be able to start video-gassing with a couple of button clicks and changing their settings to 'Online'.

Facebook users can leave videos for offline 'friends', a feature we imagine will never be abused. had a hack at the launch event, who heard Skype CEO Tony Bates say, "Skype's mission to make communications as pervasive as possible. With this deal we get a huge reach and there's no finer social platform," a hint at the introduction of paid services on Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg used the event to have a little dig at Google and its ever-increasing range of services.

"Working with Skype underlines our approach to building stuff. Social infrastructure is our focus, we want to leave different types of applications to entrepreneurs - a very different strategy from other internet companies who try to do everything themselves," he said. "Independent entrepreneurs will always do a better job than a company trying to do a million things at once."

This is not the first time that a calling application has appeared on Facebook. However, the last one - Bobsled from T-Mobile, which offered voice calling services - rather unceremoniously disappeared from the social network. µ


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