Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, both confirmed today that Skype powered video chatting is now available to Facebook users.
In the announcement, which was held shortly after 1pm today, Zuckerberg spent several minutes talking about the massive growth of sharing through social networking and how this will continue to grow over the next few years. He argued that Facebook's success in the road ahead is not about the number of active users but rather the amount of value users get from using Facebook.
He pointed out that more than half of Facebook users enjoy using group chat and that there was a demand for users to have increased communication with each other. As such, Facebook partnered with Skype to expand the chat features of Facebook. From today, users can now engage in ad hoc group text chats and click on a user's profile to begin a video chat using integrated Skype technology.
The new chat design scales with the browser size and can include initiating chats with users who are both online or offline. A new sidebar has been added to make chatting more convenient. With just a couple of clicks, Facebook users can start video chatting with friends without technical know how or the need to go to another site.
Both Zuckerberg and Bates believe that the partnership is beneficial to both companies in that it strengthens social neworking for Facebook and helps Skype to reach its goal of a billion users. Zuckerberg argued that it is best to work with companies that specialize in doing one thing well rather than for one company to try to do too many things on their own. He suggested that many companies will begin to build social integration capabilities within their apps and that Facebook wants to be prepared to work with these companies to expand the opportunities for social integratrion within Facebook.