Skype Meets Facebook - But Not Without Problems

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype Meets Facebook - But Not Without Problems

Skype 5.0 has been released with some new features, including Facebook integration. A new Facebook tab appears within the Skype client, which shows Facebook's 'News Feed' and a phone book. When I linked my Facebook account, I noticed under the privacy settings it said "Access my data any time. Skype may access my data when I'm not using the application". i.e.:
skype-facebook-privacy-settings.jpg

I don't recall any of my other Facebook apps saying they can access my Facebook data at any time. I'm not a privacy zealot, so this doesn't bother me that much, but I certainly did a double-take when I read this. It's possible others may be turned off by this. Though to have true integration, I suppose it would need 24x7 access to the Facebook data.

I should point out that a Skype user can only make a free video call with a Facebook friend if they are one of your Skype contacts. If they are a Facebook friend, but not a Skype contact, their phone number will display in the News Feed and within the phone book in Skype. Assuming of course they put their phone number in their Facebook profile. Using Skype you can then call them utilizing Skype credit. You'll also see a SMS button next to your Facebook friends to text them.

Unfortunately, when I attempted to link Skype to Facebook I saw this error:
skype-facebook-error.jpg

I tried 3 more times and FINALLY it worked. Here's my news feed below. I deleted Facebook "tweets / status updates" and my Skype buddy list for privacy concerns:
skype-facebook.jpg

Not sure if their servers are overloaded with this new feature or what. Would be interesting if Skype brought down Facebook's servers that service 3rd party apps (or vice-versa).

The major release jump from Skype 4.x to 5.0 also includes improved 10-way group video calling and a completely new user experience. One cool new feature in video calls includes a "dynamic view" option that automatically positions the person speaking in the larger video window. Skype also added an automatic recovery feature that will reconnect Skype video and audio calls very quickly. A call quality manager gauges audio and video quality during calls, providing guidance on resolving problems and improving the call experience. All-in-all a worthy upgrade. Just hope I don't encounter more server outages or whatever the problem was.

You can download Skype 5.0 here.


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