Skype Gets Friendly 14

This morning Leena Rao reported for Tech Crunch that Skype has launched Skype 5.0 with new features, most signifcantly, intergration with Facebook. While Skype has become the standard go-to for video calling, there was no social aspect to the service. Rao described the new integration:

“After logging in via Facebook Connect, you’ll be able to see your Facebook News Feed with the Skype interface, post status updates that can be synced with your Skype mood message and comment and like friends’ updates and wall posts.”

As a Skype user, I am thrilled to know that I can now access my entire Facebook social network and enjoy the free Skype services (phone calls and video calling) with all my Facebook friends. It will be interesting if the two companies collaborate to add new dimensions to this partnership for their joint users.

In addition to integrating with Facebook, the New York Times reported two weeks ago that Skype has also struck a deal with Avaya to intergrate with corporte phone systems. Verne Kopytoff detailed the news:

“Hoping to make inroads into big businesses, Skype joined on Wednesday with Avaya, a major seller of corporate phone systems. As part of the deal, Avaya will integrate Skype into its bundle of products for customers in the United States. . . Skype and Avaya both say that Skype could be used in calls centers and by sales staff. The technology would reduce corporate phone bills and allow consumers who use Skype to call companies free from a computer.

While the Skype products may seem simple, their strategic decisions to align with the largest social network and a major telecommunications provider for businesses is nothing short of genius.

Hear that? It’s your Facebook friends calling!

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