Facebook Inc. plans to offer free video calls to its 750 million population by teaming with Skype Technologies SA.
Microsoft Corp. had acquired Skype for $8.5 billion deal, which is expected to close later this year. It had also invested $240 million in Facebook in 2007 and entered an agreement to sell ads on the social network.
Facebook started negotiation with Skype regarding offering Web video calls on its social network in 2010. Following which, in October Skype included voice calling between Facebook friends.
Neil Stevens, vice president and general manager for consumer at Skype, exclaimed that this is a strategic long-term deal between Skype and Facebook.
Google is not giving ground. To fend off competition from Facebook-Microsoft partnership, it has come out with Google Plus, another social networking site.
Google claim that its approach to privacy and other control measure over sharing of information is different from Facebook or Twitter and an alternative to Apple Inc.?s FaceTime.
Google Plus includes Google?s maps and images, messages, comments and other content from selected groups of friends, as well as the video chat feature.
Facebook is also exploring tie-ups with other media and technology companies. Recently, they added Netflix Inc. CEO Reed Hastings to its board of directors and plan to incorporate more social features into the online video-streaming service. In March, it tied-up with Time Warner Inc.?s Warner Bros. studio and announced to offer movies for rental on Facebook for $3.
Presently, Facebook is valued at $71 billion on SharesPost Inc., which is an exchange for shares of private companies.
Both Facebook and Google Plus are going to battle it out for some time now using media features and partnership to avert any user defections. The bottom line, users now have more choice with better features and security measures.
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, Google Plus