Facebook and Skype are set to announce “a significant and wide-ranging partnership” including SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect. AllThingsDigital exclusive sources told Kara Swisher today that the pair will announce its social media strategy in the upcoming weeks.
These two have worked together in the past - they previously tested small contact importer connections. But Facebook aims to be the central communication and community hub for Internet users, and with tighter integration and more tools it hopes to succeed.
“Skype had 124 million people using it at least once a month and 560 million registered users, which will be bolstered by the 500 million Facebook users who will now be able to use it more seamlessly within Skype.” Facebook members will now be able to SMS and voice or video call Facebook friends from Skype when they use Facebook Connect. The new features will be available on the next Skype update which will leave beta in a few weeks.
Swisher comments that while the VOIP company is doing very well, this move will place them where Internet users are naturally gathering - in the most popular social network. In turn, pairing with Skype aids Facebook, since the former is more widely used outside of the US, so could spur additional international adoption. She also wonders if this partnership will be reflected in either of the companies’ popular mobile apps.
Not only do these companies both have a presence on a wide variety of mobile devices, they have been partnering with other organizations to broaden their adoption. Facebook messaging is now available on the AIM chat client, and the social network services will be integrated into even more phones, according to New York Times Bits blog coverage.