Skype announced today that it is adding deeper Facebook integration with the new Skype 5.5 beta version for Windows. It will allow you to instant message Facebook friends directly through Skype, using the Facebook contacts tab within the service, which will show you when someone is available to chat.
- Facebook Instant Messaging
- Facebook Contacts Tab
- 'Like' and even comment on a Facebook status
- New Call Control Toolbar (with redesigned icons)
- Improvements to the saving of a phone number in the "Call Phones" section.
- Visual improvements to placing a call on hold.
The beta can be downloaded here. No word on features for other non-Windows versions.
Windows will no doubt remain a top priority in Skype's future, given that the company was recently purchased by Microsoft. I'd expect that the Windows Phone platform might get a bit of special treatment in the future as well. When the acquisition was announced, Microsoft did say Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will also continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms, it said.
Last week, Comcast and Skype announced they were joining forces to bring customers HD video calling to Comcast customers. And speaking of Kinect, Microsoft also launched the beta software developer kit for Kinect for Windows.