We all love a secret affair. And it looks like Skype are looking forward to some good times ahead courtesy of its latest hook up with social networking kings, Facebook.
And with a reported 750 million users, it can hardly be blamed for thinking better fortunes are ahead with its new integration on Facebook video calls.
Skype video calls is now destined to hit potentially millions of additional users thanks to its “deep integration” with new platform partners Facebook and will “give strategic benefits to the two companies”, its CEO Tony Bates said at today’s announcement in California.
So what are the benefits? For starters, Skype will get instant access to Facebook’s enviable global user base (50 per cent of whom already use group chats) while Facebook will be able to retaliate against rival Google+1, with the most widely used free global internet calling service.
Skype’s ultimate goal is to reach 1 billion users and Bates appeared unfazed about the possibility of its standalone service being eaten up by The Social Network.
Half of all Skype callers use video functionality , to date, and this could morph even higher thanks to the huge penetration allowed by Facebook as well as the apparent simplicity and speed of setting up the social network for video calls (30 seconds in real time, according to today’s announcement.)
Currently, Skype has a user base of around 150 million on average per month and around another 400m registed users. The self proclaimed partnership “makes a lot of business sense”, its CEO insists.“We want it to be as ubiquitous as possible,” Bates added, and is aiming for 1 billion users globally.
Facebook may also carry paid Skype services in the future, he added, while Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg did not rule out group video calls being included in other offerings by the duo, whose love in was kept under wraps until rumors broke earlier this week.
The clandestine project was developed at Facebook’s Seattle office, the city which is also Microsoft’s HQ.
The duo have been working together for a while, both heads confirmed today, and Facebook were quick to point out previous collaborations with Microsoft on Bing, Ads and Search.
The proposed US $8.5bn deal announced by Microsoft earlier this year is still subject to final regulatory approval, Bates cautioned.