Feeds

Facebook gets awesome with Skype

Hot from Palo Alto. Yow

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Facebook has unveiled a group chat tool, a new design for its overall chat interface, and, yes, a video calling service based on Skype.

"Video calling is the first example of what we think of as a great social app," Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during a press event at the company's Palo Alto, California, headquarters. "The integration that we've done could not have been done without the great social infrastructure we've rolled out over the last five years," he said.

The group chat tool is based on Facebook's existing Groups setup, which is now used by about 50 per cent of all Facebookers, according to Zuckerberg. The new design includes a browser sidebar that provides quick access to those you chat with most, and it offers a "call" button that launches the video service.

The video service requires a plug-in, but you can place a call to your Facebook friends that will then send them a notice pointing them to the plug-in. The service does not offer group video calling, but Zuckerberg indicated that this will eventually be rolled into the service.

The service cannot be used to call existing off-Facebook Skype clients – or vice versa. But Skype product manager Mike Barnes tells The Register that the two companies will eventually provide such off-Facebook calling.

Zuckerberg at Skype Facebook announcement

Zuckerberg unveils video calling on Facebook

Facebook has already started to roll the new tools across its site, and "millions" of users. Bates says that the video service will reach about one per cent of users on Wednesday. According to Skype CEO Tony Bates, the two companies have been working on the video service for the past six months.

In late June, Zuckerberg told a Seattle audience that Facebook would unveil something "awesome" today, and last week, Techcrunch reported that this would involve integrating the social network with the Skype VoIP service, which is now owned by Microsoft. Redmond is a Facebook investor and longtime Facebook partner. Microsoft's Bing underpins search on Facebook, and Facebook may be used to personalized your results on Bing. Microsoft announced in May it's buying Skype for $8.5bn.®

Update: This story has been updated with additional information from Facebook's press event.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers
New plans for companies with up to 300 staff to launch in fall
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.