Home New Mac Skype Beta Turns Your Facebook Friends into Skype Contacts

New Mac Skype Beta Turns Your Facebook Friends into Skype Contacts

Mac users who thought Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype would mean they’d be forgotten can relax. The service’s Facebook integration, previously available only on Windows, is now available to Mac owners as well.

The beta version of Skype 5.4 for Mac, which was made available for download today, lets you connect your Facebook account and add everyone on your friends list to your contacts in Skype. From there, you can IM Facebook friends right from the “Contacts” page and, if your friends are using Facebook with Skype too, you can video chat with them.

Rather than flood your contact list with potentially hundreds of new faces (most of whom you probably have no intention of talking to on Skype), the “Contacts” page breaks everybody down into categories: Facebook friends, Skype users and a third tab that merges everybody.

The “Home” screen on the Skype desktop client for Mac now features a reformatted version of your Facebook news feed, including the ability to like and comment on statuses. You can also post your own status updates, just as you can from the Facebook website.

Another change worth noting is the addition of advertising to the “Home” screen. The advertising program, which Skype announced in March, serves as a means of bringing in additional revenue from the product without interrupting the experience of users. People often balk at the addition of advertising to products they use frequently, but honestly, it could be worse. Imagine if Skype added a column to the right side of the chat window and displayed auto-refreshing, context-relevant skyscraper banner ads throughout the course of your conversations.

What do you think of this integration? Do you like the idea of using Skype to communicate with Facebook friends? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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