Skype has announced the availability of its latest desktop client, Skype 5.0. The latest release comes with a couple of major new features, group video chat and Facebook integration, the latter having been rumored for the past couple of weeks.
"We’re excited to announce a brand new version of Skype for Windows, which will help bring you and your friends, family and co-workers together like never before," Skype announced
"We’ve integrated the Facebook News Feed and Phonebook into Skype, making it easier to stay connected with the people and communities you care about," it added.
The Facebook integration
has been rumored for a while and it's now becoming a reality. The integration brings a number of new capabilities which should come in handy for Facebook users, but are more about Skype than the social network.
For one, Skype users will be able to sync their Facebook account enabling them to call any of their friends which have listed their phone numbers on the social network. Users can also send text messages to their friends.
If one of their friends also uses Skype, users can voice and video chat with them via the VoIP service.
There are some Facebook-centric features as well, like the possibility to view your news feed inside the Skype client. You can check out what your friends are saying and even comment or like their status updates or links.
There are also plenty of features for the rest of Skype users, like a revamped design and a lot of work under the hood.
"We’ve revitalised the look and feel, making voice and video calling, instant messaging, screen sharing and file sharing intuitive and easy to navigate," Skype said.
"And you can now bring even more of your family and friends together with the new group video calling feature available in open beta," it announced.
Finally, the big new feature for Skype users is group video chat which will enable users to have ad-hoc video conferences of sorts, perfect for virtual family reunions, or even business meetings.Skype 5.0 for Windows
is available for download here