The New Stuff

Skype Plus Facebook: Friends Or Frenemies?

As any geek worth their page rank knows, Skype and Facebook have joined forces in an attempt to make it easier for friends and family to connect with each other via status updates or VoIP.

We’ve integrated the Facebook News Feed and Phonebook into Skype, making it easier to stay connected with the people and communities you care about. We’ve revitalised the look and feel, making voice and video calling, instant messaging, screen sharing and file sharing intuitive and easy to navigate. And you can now bring even more of your family and friends together with the new group video calling feature available in open beta. (Official Skype Blog)

While this geek is extremely happy for the two tech titans finally working together (as it makes it easier to call my friends half way around the world), the alliance seems to be more of a defensive move against their common foe (hint: Google).

Although Facebook has the massive eyeballs thanks in part to its 500 million plus users, there is always the possibility that Google could enter the social networking wars in the future in order to displace Facebook as the social networking king.

Skype on the other hand is facing a greater threat from the search engine giant after the latter integrated Google Voice within Gmail.

Even though Google has yet to launch its faux-VoIP service internationally (not to mention add group video chat), Google’s presence in Skype’s backyard could easily spell disaster as Google could easily undercut Skype’s prices in order to attract more users (similar to what Fring is doing).

Right now Facebook and Skype need each other, as together they can stave off attacks from the Google Borg by complimenting each others weaknesses, despite the fact that both compete in the chat space (and to a lesser degree social as well).

Although Facebook and Skype’s latest alliance is a massive win for users (as both services boast over 500 million users, respectively), I highly doubt they would be working together if it were not for their common foe.

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