WASHINGTON — Skype and Facebook joined forces Thursday to let users of the popular Internet communications service chat with their friends on the booming social network.
The new Skype version 5.0 for Windows includes a Facebook tab and integrates Facebook’s news feed and phonebook into Skype, the Luxembourg-based Skype said in a statement.
Skype users can call Facebook friends directly on mobile or landline phones, send SMS messages or make free Skype-to-Skype calls to Facebook friends who are also Skype users, it said.
They can also post status updates to Facebook that can be synched with Skype “mood” messages and comment on Facebook friends’ updates and wall posts.
“We’re working with companies such as Skype to make it easy to find your friends anytime you want to connect,” said Ethan Beard, director of the Facebook Developer Network.
Skype on Thursday also added a new group video-calling feature and “automatic call recovery,” which helps reconnect calls interrupted due to Internet connection problems.
Skype said video-calling accounted for approximately 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes in the first half of the year.
Skype, which was founded in 2003, bypasses the standard telephone network by channelling voice, video and text conversations over the Internet.
The company announced plans in August to raise up to 100 million dollars in shares by listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.