According to Kara Swisher, who broke the story this morning, the deal would be “a significant and wide-ranging partnership that will include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect.”
From everything in Swisher’s report, however, it looks more like yet another integration of Facebook into another product and not the other way around. That is, the deep integration “will include allowing users to SMS and call Facebook friends from Skype” and “video chat using Facebook in Skype,” but there is no mention of video chat in your browser on Facebook – something Skype should be technologically capable of offering.
If Skype is still going to exist solely within Skype, and not as an embedded tool on the Facebook website, than we wonder if Facebook may include a deeper integration by way of links that launch the telephony tool. Rather than having each running separately but sharing a social graph, what if users could click on each other in Facebook to send out invites to a group video chat? Or call friends’ cell phones directly from their profile page? Call businesses when a friend checks in there? The possilibities are endless.
For now, the integration would mean that your Skype contacts would come to include all of your Facebook contacts, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at given Facebook’s prominence as the hub of our social identity online. If there’s one thing that Facebook integration on our smart phones has taught us though, it’s to check your friends’ phone numbers before dialing away – there’s nothing like calling and asking the emergency operator or your lovely pals at 1-800-MATTRESS if they want to get together for a movie.