Fair warning: not much came of earlier rumors about this same possibility, and an identical outcome is possible this time. But there’s word that Facebook and Skype are (again) in talks about introducing a video chat feature on the social network.
Bloomberg, which is the source of the latest rumor, reported over the weekend, “Facebook Inc., the world’s biggest social-networking company, is holding talks with Skype Technologies SA about offering Web video calls to its 500 million users, two people familiar with the discussions said.”
This would make sense on a lot of levels. Consider that the addition of video chat would give Facebook an edge over many other social networks, helping it further stand out in users’ minds.
Also, video chat would make Facebook even more of a time suck, and thereby increase the odds that users would from time to time notice and click on ads.
Finally, a deal with Facebook would give Skype the chance to familiarize a huge new audience with its service, assuming enough Facebook users own webcams and are willing to show themselves to their friends.
We’ll be sure to report any further developments. So far, there’s been no hint of when anything might be announced or how much money might be involved.