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A Little Talky: Facebook Friends Skype In Google Voice Battle

Challenging Google and its popular Voice service, Facebook is working with Skype on a "wide-ranging" partnership, reports BoomTown's Kara Swisher. "You didn't think Facebook would integrate with Google Voice, did you?" she jokes.



Citing sources, Swisher says the broad partnership will include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect.

Bigger picture, what the does the would-be deal mean?

"Such an alliance would be a challenge to Google, a value for business users, and would benefit both Facebook and Skype," PCWorld writes. "Google has dabbled ... social networking ... Turning the tables, though, a Facebook-Skype alliance could challenge Google as a communications platform."

Indeed, Facebook, "is aiming to be the central communications and messaging platform for its users, across a range of media," writes Swisher. "Facebook's goal, according to sources: To mesh communications and community more tightly together and add more tools to allow users to do so."

"The integration would mean that your Skype contacts would come to include all of your Facebook contacts, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at given Facebook's prominence as the hub of our social identity online," writes ReadWriteWeb.

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"The deal is a win for both companies," adds VentureBeat. "Facebook gets access to a robust voice and video calling platform, and Skype will see a massive surge in new users from Facebook's 500 million users."

GigaOm's Om Malik, meanwhile, thinks Facebook should just go ahead and buy Skype. It makes sense, he says, "considering both are software-driven, social-centric, communication utilities and not hardware-centric like Cisco."

"Sure, this would be a big, hairy merger, but look at it this way: In one swoop, Facebook would dominate what I've maintained is both the new age and classic social networking," Malik adds. "They have people's credit cards; they have their real-world phone information; and in the end, they have a better, more useful, social graph than Facebook itself."

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