Facebook Experimenting With Voice Calling

Last September, news broke that Facebook and VoIP service Skype were about to announce a "deep integration partnership" that would bring integration of SMS and voice chat. A couple weeks later, we got Skype 5.0, which included an integrated Facebook phonebook and browsing, but we asked when we would see the opposite - Skype integration on Facebook.

According to The Daily What, their tipster wrote them, saying "So I was just chatting on Facebook chat and I got the option to 'call' my friend. it swiftly disappeared." Take a look at the screenshot:
facebook-call-feature.jpg
Nothing in the image indicates a Skype partnership, but with last Fall's "deep integration" in mind, we thought it would be the most likely partner-in-crime. When we last wrote about the Facebook-Skype partnership, we wrote "What we're really hoping to see from this partnership are Skype buttons on Facebook that launch Skype calls and SMS capabilities." This would go beyond Skype buttons, with direct integration. We asked Skype if it had anything to do with it, to which we received a "no comment." A Facebook spokesperson offered a standard response, saying "We don't comment on rumor and speculation and have nothing to announce at this time."
The move would make a lot of sense for Facebook, which has worked recently to become the center of your online communication experience. Its recent "not email" announcement debuted a form of communication that would supposedly work seamlessly between devices, so that there would be little differentiation between messaging, email and Facebook chat. Voice calling between users, whether from browser to browser, phone to browser, or browser to phone, would just make sense in creating a more seamless communication experience.

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