The most popular social network will be hooking up with the most popular communications platform on the web, according to reports.
Published on the ATD Boom Town blog, the word is Skype and Facebook are planning deep mutual integration of services. The 124 million active citizens of Skype-land will connect with the 500 million or so strong Facebook netizens and build on each app's services to stay in touch. You can see where this is going, of course: Facebook and Skype mutually reinforce each other's market share and strategies to support each other as new platforms gain popularity.
The integration will become apparent as of Skype 5.0, scheduled to be released in a few weeks, and it will include Facebook Connect. As a Skype user you will be able to call your Facebook 'friends' directly from the Skype interface. Whether this will extend to mobile platforms remains to be seen, but it would further simplify both companies' efforts when faced with new platforms.
Both outfits are rumoured to be preparing IPOs of their own. Actually Skype's IPO is more of a statement of fact, and this is sure to bolster share value right away and allow someone to rake in the €uros.
On a side note, Skype also signed a huge deal with Avaya, the enterprise communications giant which also launched a tablet device called the Avaya Flare, earlier this month.