Facebook in tie-up with Skype

Steve Dinneen
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MARK Zuckerberg yesterday announced a tie-up with video calling giant Skype as it bolsters its site against the threat of Google’s rival social network.

The move, which will allow Facebook users to make video calls, is part of a larger redesign that will also add a group chat function and update the appearance of the site.

Facebook also announced it has passed 750m users worldwide. However, Zuckerberg says the firm will shift its focus from adding users to the number of transactions completed by each person. The amount of content uploaded by each Facebook subscriber has rocketed in the last year.

The tie-up is the first major announcement from Skype since it was bought by Microsoft in a shock $8.5bn (£5.2bn) deal in May.

Zuckerberg said it is unlikely the firm will add more of Skype’s premium functions in the near future.

It is unclear what the financial implications of the deal are for either side, with no clear method for Facebook or Skype to monetise the service beyond driving more users to their products.

The move is a warning shot to Google, which last week launched a beta version of its Google+ social network, which has received mixed reviews.

Facebook has been valued at up to $100bn (£62.5bn) ahead of its mooted 2012 IPO but spooked some potential investors last month when it emerged it lost users in some mature markets.