Boston: Social networking site Facebook and Internet telephone provider Skype are planning to combine their communications services, according to a media report.
Under the partnership, Facebook users will be able to sign into Skype through their Facebook Connect accounts. Those users would then be able to text message, voice
chat and video chat with their friends on Facebook from within Skype, the Wall Street Journal reported.
An announcement in this regard is expected within the next few weeks.
The partnership would link Skype`s 560 million registered users with Facebook`s 500 million members. "The partnership will likely step up pressure on Google, which is battling Facebook for Internet users` attention and last month moved to integrate voice calling into its Gmail service," the report added.
Google is also trying to make its services "more social" as it aims to get more people to spend time on it rather than on the social networking site. According to marketing research company comScore, US Internet users spent 41.1 billion minutes on Facebook in
August, surpassing Google`s 39.8 billion minutes for the first time.
The Journal quoted a person familiar with the Facebook-Skype project as saying that eventually enabling in-browser voice and video chat on Facebook would be a
"logical progression" to the partnership.
The integrated functions are built into Skype`s 5.0 version, which is expected to be released in the next few weeks, the person said.
Skype distributes free software that allows people to make free video calls to other Skype users over the Web. It also has a paid service offering low-cost calls from Skype to
landlines or cellphones.