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Skype powered Facebook video chats will take off like a range fire

When we roundly denounced the purchase of Skype by Microsoft as a waste of money, we never expected that Microsoft would yield quite so much influence

By PETER WHITE

Published: 7 July, 2011

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When we roundly denounced the purchase of Skype by Microsoft as a waste of money, we never expected that Microsoft would yield quite so much influence or move quite so fast as it has to open up Skype capability in Facebook. Perhaps Microsoft’s clout will accelerate Skype’s growth after all.

Facebook and Skype have each separately announced that their product integration will be far deeper than first imagined, and we have to attribute at least some of that to the small shareholding that Microsoft has in Facebook, which probably amounts to having its ear, at least technically speaking.

So while a few weeks back Skype opened up Instant Messaging links between Skype users and Facebook friends and the ability to add comments such as a Facebook “Like” directly from Skype, that really skims the surface.

Now Facebook is going to take Skype video conferencing and implement it on Facebook pages, so that kids can have video conferences for nothing more than broadband bandwidth, directly through Facebook pages. This is going to come over as if Facebook just invented the best thing since sliced bread. The older generation that tends to rely on Skype for cheaper overseas calling and such, is probably less inclined to use video calling – kids will love it and be at it on their phones, laptops and tablets - 24 x 7.

It talks about this as Skype’s first big step on the Web, and it sure is. If we were running a social networking site, we’d be on the phone to Skype saying, “Can we have that too” except perhaps for the stodgier LinkedIn, again because its customers are by and large that little bit older and need to maintain professional distance.

We’re not quite sure how Skype makes money out of this, but presumably there will be a monetization approach, if not now, then down the road, probably advertising based, but this puts Skype in easy reach of another 750 million people, only some of which are already Skype converts . This App is going to turn up on the Cisco Visual Networking Index, any time soon, showing almost as much video network traffic as Netflix, virtually overnight. The system also allows you to send video messages.

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