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Skype, Facebook partnership a boon for both companies

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(Read caption) Skype is coming to Facebook. Or maybe Facebook is coming to Skype. Depends on how you look at it.

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Facebook, meet Skype. Skype, Facebook.

Skype 5.0 for Windows, the latest iteration of the popular VoIP platform, will incorporate many Facebook functionalities, Skype reps announced today. Among the features included in Skype 5.0 are an integrated Facebook News feed, and the ability to call and text Facebook friends on their mobile phones or landlines. In addition, Skype users will soon be able to sync Facebook status updates with Skype "mood" messages.

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"We're working with companies such as Skype to make it easy to find your friends anytime you want to connect," Ethan Beard, the director of the Facebook Developer Network, wrote on the official Facebook blog today. Beard's post had received upward of 1,700 comments as of this afternoon, most of them overwhelmingly positive.

The Skype and Facebook partnership, of course, is good business for both companies. Skype will likely see a jump in the amount of time its users spend on the platform. And Facebook will again increase its reach – a prerogative for the social network in recent months.

In August, Google introduced its own VoIP service. Google Voice, as the service is called, allows Gmail users to text or call any US or Canadian phone line at no cost. According to Google, a million users tried out its new Gmail call functionality within the first 24 hours the service was available – a ringing success for Google, and a sure sign of the demand for good VoIP platforms.