Facebook now has over 750 million users – it’s growing at an incredible rate. You probably already have an account there.
Skype, the internet video/phone/chat service, has an estimated user base of over 500 million people (though that number is not as easy to calculate). In May, Skype was purchased by Microsoft for $8.5 billion.
Now these two huge services have teamed up to combine their services to their huge user base. You may already have this service enabled – Facebook is rolling out the Skype services gradually.
To check, go to Facebook and look at one of your friend’s pages. In the top right, you used to see this:
When the feature is enabled on your account, you will see this:
By clicking the “Call” button, you will be able to use your Skype account to call your friend.
Incidentally, if you don’t have a Skype account, I encourage you to get one and try it out. It is a fantastic service, and in many situations completely free. For instance, if you have a friend that has Skype installed, and you call your friend using your Skype account, the call is 100% free. It doesn’t matter if you are in the US and your friend is in India or anywhere else – all you need is a high speed internet connection (which most people have now anyway). You can even use a web cam so you can see each other while talking – and it’s all free! If you want to use your Skype account to call a regular landline or cell number, you have to pay for that – but it is very cheap. I pay $2.95 per month for unlimited outgoing calls to any regular phone number in the US or Canada.
Facebook will also be integrating video calling into their service. You can check to see if you have this enabled yet, by going to this URL: https://www.facebook.com/videocalling. Right now, you might just see this:
Just keep checking back and try it out when it’s available in your account – which will be soon.