Facebook announces new video calling service powered by Microsoft’s Skype

By Tom Warren, on 6th Jul 11 5:35 pm with 25 Comments

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday a new video calling service for the social network.

Zuckerberg introduced the service at a press event at the company’s headquarters on Wednesday. Facebook has been building a number of products over the past six months and Zuckerberg revealed that this is the “beginning of what we’ll call launching season 2011.” Facebook’s new video calling service is based on the company’s work with Skype. “A few months ago, we started working with Skype to bring video calling to Facebook,” says Philip Su, an engineer on Facebook’s video calling team.

The service will allow Facebook users to simply call a friend from a button at the top of an existing chat window. Facebook’s latest video feature sees Microsoft’s Skype service integrated fully into Facebook. Skype and Facebook users can also exchange chat messages using the Skype service. Skype also made a 5.5 beta version for Windows available on Wednesday that provides access to Facebook chat. The video feature of Facebook works by using a Skype plugin to enable Facebook users to call each other.

Microsoft has been working closely with Facebook for its Windows Phone, Hotmail, Bing and Windows Live integration. Facebook’s messaging system also uses Microsoft’s Office Web Apps suite. Facebook users can also view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in their browser. “We have a really good relationship with Microsoft,” said Zuckerberg during a press Q+A session on Wednesday. “Now that Skype is owned by Microsoft it gives us the sense of stability,” he added. Skype CEO Tony Bates revealed that the Facebook partnership is an important piece for the company after the recent deal with Microsoft.

Facebook’s video calling service is available immediately.

  • GP007

    This is huge for skype and by extention MS.  750million new users basically overnight, even though not all of them will use it i’m sure.  Still, if half do that’s a large number in the end.

    • Guest

      750M new users? Like none of them were already using Skype?

    • Anonymous

      skype doesn’t have anywhere near 750M. even with a 50% overlap, that remains a huge boost to skype.

    • Rusty

      He’s talking about the number of facebook users which reports vary from 600m-750m

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000678662470 Vincent Haakmat

    I told you so… They woke up the sleeping giant!!! Now take that, Google(+)

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    I’ve got it now, though. Not later today!

  • http://twitter.com/abhi1manyu Abhimanyu Jamwal

    google call there products ith swanky names. incognito, hangouts, circles but they are no better than inprivate browsing, v.chat or groups….and yet the techworld os woow!! what a product, this is facebook killer just the same way buzz killed twitter and wave killed lyncs or none

    • Test1ngi23

      5 people liked a post that didn’t make any sense. “what a product, this is facebook killer”. What is “facebook killer”?

    • Reading

      It probably didn’t make sense to you. But it did make sense to others.
      For clarification, he was making fun of news websites which go ga ga over anything Google releases, and some of them are hailing G+ as FB killer.

  • Tuxplorer

    Wow! Microsoft + Facebook + Skype + Nokia is going to be awesome! Can’t wait for everything to fall into pieces within the next 12 months.

    • Tonious

       You Can’t wait for everything to fall into pieces within the next 12 months???

    • Tod

      He meant “fall into place”… Like me, he probably does not have English as their native language also

    • DEuX

      +1. Agreed. This is going to be a super powerful allies.

  • Tuxplorer

    Wow! Microsoft + Facebook + Skype + Nokia is going to be awesome! Can’t wait for everything to fall into pieces within the next 12 months.

  • Tuxplorer

    Wow! Microsoft + Facebook + Skype + Nokia is going to be awesome! Can’t wait for everything to fall into pieces within the next 12 months.

  • Bob

    Now the important question: Is MS getting paid anything by FB for providing this service? Because otherwise, this is probably going to mean a lot more volume of the mostly “free” variety, which equals more cost for MS.

    • Anonymous

      skype is peer to peer which i’m betting the majority of facebook calls would be. if they call out where MS incures costs then they need to pay for the ability to call land line so on and so forth.

    • Anonymous

      Microsoft doesn’t own Skype yet, I’m sure that will change in the not too distant future.

  • http://twitter.com/superaca aca suharsya

    “like” this if you think the picture are clickable then the video would play

  • Tejaswi Redkar

    its all funny (advertising)  money like you pay for using google search :).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000678662470 Vincent Haakmat

    Bob.. Most of these type of deals are paid by ad money. That is the only reason Google is into all kinds of startups on the web. Everything feeds back to their search engine. MS saw that this model makes bucket loads of money, so they also are jumping heads and shoulders in it. All these deals will ultimately make Bing, Windows, Azure, SQL, Linq, Zune (Xbox) etc. better, which results in customer loyalty towards these products.

  • Anonymous

    OK, now I will check my hair and stuff every hour just in case I get a video chat coming.

  • http://softwarebuzzer.com sureshpeters @software buzzer

    its live guys :) here is the tutorial for the facebook video calling features and activation

  • Syrious

    most usless video I’ve ever watched, I was hoping for pictures of the app features, not people….