Skype has integrated Facebook-to-Facebook video-calls into its latest desktop client, further strengthening the ties between the two services.
The move was announced on Thursday in a blog post by Skype design chief Rick Osterloh. It follows the addition of Skype-powered videoconferencing to Facebook in July and last year's integration of Facebook services into the Skype client, which effectively made the client a desktop front-end for the web-based social network.
"Initiating a Facebook-to-Facebook call from within Skype is quite easy; all you need to do is connect your Skype and Facebook accounts. Then, select a Facebook friend and hit the video call button in Skype — your friend simply picks up the call from Facebook," Osterloh wrote.
Skype, owned by Microsoft since October, started integrating its services with those of Facebook precisely one year before.
In October 2010, Skype made it possible for users to add their Facebook contacts to the desktop Skype client, while also using the client to view Facebook news feeds, post status updates, and comment on and like contacts' posts.
The new video integration is available in the latest beta versions of the desktop client: Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows.
According to Osterloh, the betas also give Mac users better video rendering than they had before, while enabling group screen-sharing for Windows users with premium subscriptions — Mac users already had this capability.
"Users who are chatting one-on-one will also be able to screen share with live video streaming," Osterloh added.