In case you felt like you didn’t have any friends on Skype, that’s all about to change. Today, Skype is launching Skype 5.4 for Mac Beta with the same Facebook integration found in Skype 5.5 for Windows.
The new update lets you IM and connect with your Facebook friends without leaving Skype. You can read and update your News Feed, comment and ‘Like’ your Facebook friends’ posts – all within Skype for Mac OS X Beta. To connect to Facebook, simply sign into Skype, click on the Connect to Facebook tab and enter your Facebook sign in details.
I’ve now integrated my Skype and Facebook account, which was scary. I have nearly 2,000 “friends” on Facebook, and only 60 on Skype, which are mostly professional contacts who I need to reach at all times. Now, with the easy access to my Facebook contacts that Skype provides, I run the risk of social bombardment.
It’s all fun and games for free until someone pulls out the advertising platform, which will be included in this new release, but if you are a paying Skype consumer or have Skype Credit, you won’t see any display ads; similar to the model that is currently being used in the Skype for Windows client. Here’s what the ads look like:
Overall, the new Skype for Mac Beta is a slow, rainbow colored wheel of death. But when it does work, the integration is pretty cool. The ability to instantly video chat all of my contacts, call them on multiple numbers or send them an instant message is convenient. You can also view contacts by Facebook, Online, Skype, All and Address Book for better organization. It doesn’t appear that Skype Profiles or Skype search have fully integrated with Skype yet.
Download the new version here.