We heard a while ago that we may see some kind of major Facebook and Skype collaboration. We all wanted to see Skype on the FB site itself, and a deeper kind of integration. However, what we unded up with instead is still pretty cool and useful if you make use of both services, which if you’re like me, you probably do.
Skype 5, currently only available for Windows but hopefully other platforms soon, allows you to log-in with Facebook connect and access your news feed as well as your Facebook phonebook. If any of your contacts list their numbers in their profiles, you’ll be able to call them using your Skype credit directly from the app. Furthermore, if any of your friends have their Skype accounts connected to Facebook, you’ll be able to call or IM them on Skype, even if you’re not actually contacts on the service up until then. Whether or not you have to request to become a contact first will depend on their privacy settings on Skype.
I think they’ve done a good job with this new version and I hope it comes to Mac soon. The downside at this point would have to be that there is more and more negative attention surrounding applications leaking your personal details on Facebook, and therefore that could impact the Skype integration’s usefulness if people refrain from posting their personal numbers.
If I was to post mine, I would make a small list of people that could see it and no one else, because it’s not something I would want to risk giving out. Overall though, it’s a nice improvement on Skype and it makes sense for these two behemoths of internet communication to team up, even if it is fairly basic at this stage. I’m hoping we’ll see some really cool stuff from them in the future possibly in the browser next time.