Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new video calling feature during an event at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto.
Zuckerberg portrayed online social networking as being at an inflection point where its momentum is unstoppable and said now Facebook’s focus is on fun or functional software applications that can be built on its platform.
“There is this clear arc where the world generally believes (social networking) is going to be everywhere,” Zuckerberg said. “In a matter of time it will be billions, whether it is us or somebody else doing it.”
He expressed hope that Facebook would hit the billion-user mark.
As ranks of social network users grow, the number of updates, pictures, videos and other content shared is rocketing, according to Zuckerberg.
“We have 750 million users now and it is still growing quickly,” he said. “But the thing growing faster is the amount of sharing per user.”
The amount of content shared at Facebook has soared to four billion things daily from less than one item a day in the year 2004.
Along with building its own programs to enhance the social network, Facebook will work with entrepreneurs and partners such as Skype.
“It is really gratifying to see this product on the leading social network out there,” said Skype chief executive Tony Bates. “There is no greater place to get to the Web than inside Facebook; one click.
“This makes a lot of business sense as well,” Bates continued. “We want to be as ubiquitous as possible and great things will happen from there.”
Skype is added to Facebook with easily installed Web browser “plug-in” software and no financial deal was struck between the companies in the arrangement, according to Zuckerberg.
Plans to add Skype to Facebook began before Microsoft announced in May that it is buying the Internet voice and video leader for $8.5 billion dollars.
Bates said that he and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer paid a call on Zuckerberg after announcing the acquisition plans at a press event in San Francisco.
Bates pointed out that Microsoft’s purchase of Skype is still pending approval by regulators.