Facebook teams up with Skype

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Facebook chat with videos

Facebook has announced that it is teaming up with video calling giant Skype to offer users instant video chat.

Skype, recently acquired by Microsoft, is bringing its services to Facebook. The company is working in tandem with Facebook to offer users a way to visually connect with their Facebook friends.

Facebook users will not need to create a Skype account to use the video calling feature on the site. Instead, users simply select the friend they wish to connect with and select 'call' in the same way they previously would select 'message'. If the friend does not accept the call, or is not online, then the user is invited to leave a video message. It is necessary, however, to install a small plug-in before the first use.

The future is video

The announcement of this new Facebook feature comes following Google's revelation of its Google+ project, a service that will also offer video calling. Facebook's video calling, powered by Skype, will also be integrated into the Facebook Chat product.

Users should expect to start seeing the feature available on their accounts from today. Philip Su, engineer at Facebook, has written a post explaining the building of the video calling product and outlining the hurdles the developers had to overcome.