The new Skype version 5.0 for Windows allows Facebook users to sign in and update their status, browse their news feed, or view their phonebook, more or less as has previously been reported. Users can click on “SMS” or “Call” buttons next to user names in the feed or phonebook to contact them via Skype.
The partnership benefits Skype users by allowing them to conveniently view their Facebook content, Skype Limited by increasing user retention and time-on-app, and Facebook by driving users back to its site and apps. Facebook may also make money directly off the partnership if it receives a cut of paid Skype calls.
Once Windows users have downloaded, installed, and run Skype 5.0, they’ll see a a Facebook tab next to their Skype Home and Profile tabs. There users can log in to Facebook and grant Skype’s app the necessary permissions. They are also informed that their Facebook friends won’t be automatically added to their Skype contact list, and Facebook friends won’t see their Skype profile or online status.
Once logged in, users see the status update publisher, and their news feed. Users can post a simple status update, but not a rich link story such as through the Facebook canvas publisher. Users can Like and comment on feed stories, but clicking on user profiles, Pages, links, or rich media stories such as videos will open that content in their default internet browser. Next to each user, buttons show that user’s phone number, which links to Skype call and SMS interface.
Users can also view a “Phonebook” tab which shows them an alphabetical list of all their friends along with buttons to see their numbers or call them via Skype.
The Facebook client in Skype shows no advertisements, so Facebook may be taking a cut of paid Skype-to-phone calls initiated through the client. Either way, Facebook gains by by offering its content within apps with dedicated user bases because it will drive these users back to Facebook. For instance, Likes and comments to a status update a user posts through Skype will generate notifications that can only be viewed on Facebook’s dedicated interfaces.