Facebook and Skype Integrate Their Services

Skype now allows its users to log into their Facebook accounts and perform a variety of Facebook tasks from within the Skype interface.

By meshing the Facebook News Feed and Phonebook contact list with the Skype interface, users will be able to view and post messages to their Facebook activity stream, comment on others' posts and communicate via SMS, phone and Skype voice service.

The functionality comes with Skype 5.0, the latest version of the company's PC software, available now for Windows machines, Skype said on Thursday.

"We're working with companies such as Skype to make it easy to find your friends anytime you want to connect," wrote Ethan Beard, director of Facebook's Developer Network, in a blog posting.

In addition to the Facebook integration, Skype 5.0 also introduces in beta, or test mode, a free trial of group video calling, as well as new functionality to improve the quality and stability of calls' audio and video.

The deal is far from exclusive. Facebook also offers integration with Skype rivals AOL AIM and Yahoo Messenger, while Skype has had for several years a tie-up with Facebook competitor MySpace.

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