A Facebook user sent the following screenshot to the Daily What claiming that a call option had appeared on his screen while he was chatting to his friend. It didn’t stick around for long, and the “call” didn’t connect when he tried using it, but it definitely lends credence to rumors that Facebook has been preparing a kind of VOIP-calling feature for Facebook chat.
When Skype 5.0 was released it came with an interesting new feature that offered a certain degree of Facebook integration. 5.0 allowed Skype users to SMS, chat or call their Facebook friends via the VOIP service right from the Facebook News Feed and in November rumors did rounds that the partnership between Facebook and Skype could eventually include video calling.
Though this latest news would appear to be Facebook taking its first tentative steps toward offering users the ability to call their friends without any help from Skype, the social network’s recent partnership with Skype is impossible to ignore. The fact that the call button appears on a user’s homepage rather than in the chat window could mean that users will be able to call their friend’s even if they’re not online (presumably the recipient would have had to supplied Facebook with his or her phone number for this to work). Whether this would use Skype credit or would involve purchasing Facebook credits is another matter altogether and would depend on whether Facebook and Skype are pairing up for this venture.