The rumor mill is churning yet again, and this time we're hearing that Facebook and Skype are about to roll out a deeply integrated experience for users. The two companies are preparing to announce a partnership that will offer access to SMS, voice, and Facebook Connect integration; most likely on both platforms.
Skype has 124 million registered users, so they would be the natural choice for adding telephony communication to Facebook. Many of Facebook's user may already have Skype accounts, so the integration should be seamless. The Facebook integration will reportedly be available in the new version 5 release of Skype expected to drop in the coming weeks.
As Skype prepares for an IPO, this could be quit the feather in their cap. Do you think Facebook users would start using Skype if the integration was there?
We live in a world where not one, but three separate videogames about the Burger King exist, so this really shouldn’t surprise us. For some reason, though, it does. See, cops ‘n’ robbers MMO All Points Bulletin is going where no series of in-game ads has before: your ear canal. Does that even qualify as in-game anymore?
Don’t worry too much, though. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds. You will not, for instance, find yourself coordinating a heist with your buddy, only to have him reply that there’s no need for a life of crime, because the prices over at Wal Mart are an absolute steal. Foremost, this is due to the fact that audio ads only occur when you first enter a district. And even then, the voices in your head will only switch from telling you to kill things to telling you to buy things every three hours. In other words, there’s a very good chance you’ll only hear one ad each time you play. There are also subscription tiers that remove the ads altogether.
So that’s a relief. Now we only have to worry about that other, potentially more annoying thing voice chat is used for: talking with other people. (We kid. Except for when said people are 12 years-old, rapping, or -- and especially -- rapping 12 year-olds.)
Facebook will soon be at your eardrums as Boston-based tech firm Vivox is busy giving the finishing touches to its voice chat offering for Facebook. Vivox identifies itself as the leading provider of voice chat services for online games and virtual worlds. The service is currently in closed beta and only a few weeks away from launch.
Google’s been on a real spree lately, rolling out one improvement after another for their Gmail service. Looks like that’s not about to stop, as they’ve just announced that the service's built-in messenger will be getting noticeably beefier with the addition of voice and video chat.
The feature will be built right into the Gmail page (no client download required) and will allow anyone to chat in real time with other Gmail users. Google has posted a video showing off how the feature functions, and frankly it looks pretty damn cool.
The service certainly isn’t as full featured as voice-chat top-dog Skype (it cannot, for instance, connect to a regular phone), but it looks like it might be just the thing for a quick chat with someone you’ve been talking to with email or Gmail’s chat. And, knowing Google, it’s probably just a matter of time until the service’s features are fully fleshed out.
The service is available now, and requires a plugin download.
Do you use video or voice chat on your computer? Will you give Gmail’s new service a try? Let us know after the jump.