Facebook and Skype are said to be close to announcing a deep partnership which would bring Facebook Connect integration in the Skype client, but also enable Facebook users to make calls, video calls and send text messages via Skype.According to All Things D citing sources close to the matter, the new features will be available in Skype 5.0 which is currently in beta.
When the stable version will launch, within weeks apparently, it will feature a Facebook tab which will list all of your friends from the social network as well as their contact information, as long as they provided it. Apparently, you'll also be able to check out your News Feed within Skype.
For the VoIP company, the move could mean a significant bump in new user. While Skype, officially, has more users than Facebook, at around 560 million, growth can be hard to come by at that stage. Note that these are registered users, while Facebook measures monthly active users.
While it's safe to assume that Facebook's 500 million users overlap with Skype's user base to a degree, it's still a huge potential market. And it also serves to bring the VoIP service to the center of online communications for most people today, Facebook.
But this is a sweet deal for Facebook as well. The chat feature on the site has been very successful. However, while there are some choices for video and voice chat on the site, it can't compete with Google's Gmail offerings.
Now that Gmail included voice call support, Facebook needed to step up the game. If Google has any chance of challenging Facebook social dominance it will be through Gmail.
All of these features will be available within the Skype client but there is no word on what this will imply for the site. However, a key detail is that Facebook users will be able to log into Skype with their social network account.