Facebook to offer Skype video chat

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Facebook to offer Skype video chat

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA (BDCi) – Facebook entered into an agreement with video calling service Skype last week that will allow the social media’s estimated 750 million users to chat on video as well as text.

Experts agreed that the deal gives Facebook a competitive strike against Google which recently launched its own social media platform called Google +.

Gartner technology analyst Ray Valdes agreed that the added Skype functionality will enhance Facebook’s ability to attract incremental online advertising revenue.

“They need to continue to keep their users engaged and coming back everyday,” he said of Facebook.

Another winner from this deal is Microsoft Corporation who is in the process of buying Skype, closing a deal reported to be worth $8.5 billion. Microsoft, a 1.6% owner of Facebook, is also looking to grab more web space from Google with its Bing search engine and the possibility of getting hundreds of millions of Facebook account holders to get a good look at its Skype service.

Google +’s social media capabilities are similar to Facebook according to Reuters’ Alexei Oreskovic. However Google has an advantage currently with its videoconferencing service which Facebook doesn’t have.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Chief Executive doesn’t rule out Facebook one day getting videoconferencing, but he said that most video chats today happen between two people.

Facebook just rolled out a group messaging function that along with the new free Skype service may push Google to make the next chess move.

By Don Weinstein
Source: Reuters
11 July 2011
14:14 P.D.T.
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