Next For Facebook And Skype: Calls To Outside Phones

mark zuckerbergMark Zuckerberg introduces Facebook video chat in front of a map showing the locations of Facebook users.

Photo: Matt Rosoff | Business Insider

Skype consumer head Neil Stevens confirmed that the next thing planned for the Facebook-Skype partnership is the ability to call from Facebook to any phone in the world.Stevens said that wherever users see a highlighted phone number on Facebook, they’ll be able to click it and place a voice call.

The service will cost money — just like Skype-to-phone calls do today — but the companies haven’t worked out the financial details yet. One possibility would be letting users make calls with Facebook Credits, the company’s recently introduced payment system.

Philip Su, a Seattle-based Facebook engineer who worked on the video chat feature, also told us that Facebook-to-Skype client calls are a logical extension that should be coming soon.

Stevens also said that group video chat is planned, but they don’t think it’s the most-wanted feature so it’s a lower priority than outbound calls. (It’s also a bandwidth hog and technically hard to implement.)

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