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Skype and Facebook sitting in a tree?

Zuckerberg (possibly) puckers up for VoIP

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

All Things Digital reports that Facebook and Skype are on the verge of announcing an integration of their services, allowing Facebook users to talk to each other.

The news comes with a mocked-up screenshot provided by the omniscient "sources close to the situation". It also dishes that Facebook users will able to send SMS messages and call each other using Skype, while Skype users gain access to Facebook Connect, the social networking site's messaging service. The lack of overlap between the companies makes it believable, though it's not clear how far the integration will go.

It certainly makes a lot more sense to put a Skype button in Facebook than it did in eBay, which bought and then sold Skype having failed to find a space for it in the tat bazaar. Skype makes money charging people for phone calls, while Facebook gets its income by showing them advertising, but both are concerned with connecting people so should be able to co-exist nicely.

Identity aggregation is all the rage these days, the only question being what to aggregate and where. Some of the most popular mobile applications are concerned with aggregating one's various cloudy identities, pulling them together on the client for presentation within a single interface, but now the clouds are trying to provide that aggregation service too.

Yahoo's Messenger client will connect with MSN, but the connection is from their server to Microsoft's, as opposed to from the user's desktop to both services - the identities are aggregated at Yahoo.

Facebook has similar aspirations, only more so, and hosting Skype IDs would be a significant step in that direction. ®

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