Facebook is deepening its integration with Windows through a new Skype-to-Facebook feature and a Messenger client for Windows 7 that allows users to access the Ticker, Chat and Notifications.
The Skype-to-Facebook functionality, found in the Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows released last week, allows users to make Skype calls to one another without leaving Facebook. In order to use the feature, users must link their Skype and Facebook accounts and then launch calls from a video call button that appears after selecting a Facebook friend. Facebook first introduced Skype integrations this year, several months before Microsoft acquired Skype in October.
Facebook’s Messenger client for Windows 7 is a bit more involved, enabling users to access three core real-time features of the Facebook platform directly from their desktops. TechCrunch has confirmed that the client is currently in limited beta on the platform and is wholly developed by Facebook — not as part of a new partnership with Microsoft. Facebook has been experimenting with different ways to package Chat in native apps in the past year, including launching a standalone mobile group chat app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry in August.
It may be worth noting that these features move Facebook further into territory that Google has expanded into in recent years as well, while Google is still trying to get Google+ growing to larger scale.