Facebook, the world’s biggest social networking platform, announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with Skype to offer Facebook users a new free live video calling feature.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, made the announcement that will allow its 750 million users to video calls without having to leave the application. The new Skype feature allows Facebook users to engage in a one-on-one video chat with just one click.
With the Skype partnership, Facebook is raising the bar for competitors in the social media network arena that include search engine giant Google Inc., which recently launched its own social media platform. Google’s offering, Google+, includes a video chat feature as well as Internet calls via Gmail.
The new partnership will give Skype access to Facebook’s 750 million users and provide the company an opportunity to increase its user base currently at 170 million.
Microsoft, a Google rival and Facebook investor is in negotiations to purchase Skype in a reported $8.5-billion deal which is expected to close before the end of the year. The Facebook Skype partnership is expected to strengthen Microsoft’s existing partnership with Facebook and give Microsoft a competitive advantage in the online communications playground.