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Facebook Teams With Skype To Launch Video Calling

Two of the biggest names in online communication, Skype and Facebook, have announced that the world's largest social network will now allow its users to make video calls to their friends from within Facebook itself.

It is the first time that Skype is offering a web-based service and the launch today could hint at a stand alone (or white labelled) service at some point in the future.

For now, more than 750 million active Facebook users will be able to make video calls from within Facebook and more importantly from inside their browsers.

A Facebook video session can be initiated with any friend right from the chat box or, alternatively, you can click on his or her profile and call them if they are online.

Users will be able to leave video messages and it also enables news feeds, instant messages, comments and likes to be imported within Skype, with Facebook leveraging Skype's massive presence on the desktop.

Facebook's announcement is somewhat dampened by Google's own Google Plus service which offers a similar service called Hangout that allows multiple users to seamlessly join in on a video conferencing session, a serivce that the NYTimes' Jenna Wortham calls Google Plus' potential killer app.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.