Facebook adds Skype video chat feature-BBC
The move is likely to be seen as a shot across the bow of Google, which recently launched a Facebook rival, Google+, also featuring video calling.
This is not the first time Facebook and Skype have teamed up – they already share some instant messaging tools.
Skype is in the process of being bought by Microsoft, which is a major shareholder in Facebook.
The new video-call service was launched by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who also revealed that the site now had more than 750 million users.
However, he said that the total number of active users was no longer a useful measure of the site’s success.
Instead, the amount of sharing – of photographs, videos and web links – was a better indication of how people engaged with the site, explained Mr Zuckerberg.
One to one
At launch, Facebook’s video chat service will only be able to connect two users face-to-face, whereas Google’s+ system allows group video calls, known as Huddles.
Mr Zuckerberg said that it was likely that other “premium” Skype functions would be added in future.
He also appeared to offer a back-handed compliment to Google+, saying that its creation was a vindication of Facebook’s vision for the social web.
Skype chief executive Tony Bates welcomed the partnership, calling it a “long-term relationship” that could benefit both companies.
At one point he had to correct Mr Zuckerberg on the subject of Skype’s ownership, reminding him that the Microsoft deal was not yet complete and still had to be cleared by regulators.