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Facebook Video Calling: Skype's Doing All The Hard Work

Home OfficeNews
by Desire Athow
, 09 Jul 2011News

Skype has published a rather intriguing post on its official company blog that explores the intricacies that lay beneath the new Facebook Video Calling service.

The post called "Under the Hood with Facebook Video Calling, Powered by Skype" was penned by Jonathan Rosenberg, Chief Technology Strategist at the Microsoft-owned company.

In it, Rosenberg answers some very interesting questions pertaining to the way Skype integrates with Facebook, whether it will scale, and whether it actually uses Skype's client.

When a user initiates a call on Facebook by pressing the call button, the page checks whether a Skype plugin is present. He reveals that Facebook's servers interact with Skype's ecosystem via a proprietary REST API developed especially for the social network.

An anonymous Skype account is created for new callers but Rosenberg doesn't say whether that account is actually a temporary one that is destroyed after use.

The REST API, he says, allows Facebook servers to obtain a login credential that can be used to log the user in to Skype. From there, everything is handled transparently by Skype's infrastructure, from the "handshaking" between the caller and the callee to the user interface rendered by the Skype Runtime.

Skype, Rosenberg adds, has "substantially increased server counts and added bandwidth" in all of their data centers in order to prevent any drop in QoS or service altogether.

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