Kirkpatrick for The Daily Beast: Facebook Becomes Your Phone Company

July 7th, 2011

The Daily Beast

The new deal between Skype and the social network does more than batter Google—it finally turns Facebook from a website into a telecommunications giant. By David Kirkpatrick.

Jul 7, 2011 1:08 AM EDT
By David Kirkpatrick

On Wednesday Facebook and Skype announced that you can now make free video calls to friends in Facebook. It radically simplifies the process of conducting video conversations and will enable even the most gadget-challenged to use this sophisticated modern technology. And it points toward a near future when Facebook becomes even more embedded into the fabric of modern life.

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Facebook and Skype are natural partners. Facebook operates what is essentially a directory of humanity—an index of 750 million people identified by their real names and photos. (CEO Mark Zuckerberg today confirmed that figure for the first time.) Skype, for its part, operates the largest network for online voice and video calling. Doesn’t it make sense to combine them to create a better way to find the people we want to talk to?  Read More…