Facebook Will Likely Debut Skype-Powered Video Chat

Most pundits concur that today's Facebook announcement will involve video chat, not the Spartan platform.

Project Spartan is still alive and well at Facebook, but this morning’s press conference most likely has nothing to do with the HTML5-based mobile application platform.

The blogosphere concurs that today we will see the debut of video chat enabled by integration of Skype with Facebook. Longer-shot possibilities include an application for the iPad, a new photo-sharing interface or upgraded smartphone capabilities.

Facebook clamped down on Spartan-related links immediately after the project was first reported in mid-June, adding that the social network is still targeting a July 15 deadline for the platform to be ready, with its public debut sometime between that date and August 1.

Sources also told TechCrunch that Facebook stressed to developers that Project Spartan is not intended as a threat to Apple, although that was the angle of much of the press coverage last month; the blog reported that gaming will be a major part of Project Spartan, with Facebook partner Zynga “heavily involved” in that aspect of the platform.

One developer told TechCrunch that Apple may be willing to cede the HTML5 portion of the market in exchange for access to the Facebook user base, cutting out Google in the interim, adding that developers working on Spartan have been told to code specifically for both the iPhone and iPad versions of Safari.

Readers, what do you think Facebook will announce today?