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Skype users can now call Facebook friends

Skype 5.0 offers beta of group video calling

Skype is giving web users the ability to call and text their Facebook friends using the VoIP service.

The fulll version of Skype 5.0, which was made available as a beta release in September, allows users to access their 'Facebook phonebook'. From here they'll be able to call the mobiles or landlines of their social networking contacts directly from their PC using Skype. If any Facebook friends are on Skype, the users will be able to call them for free by making a Skype-to-Skype call.

Skype is also offering users that download the latest version of the software a free trial of its group-calling feature, which is currently in beta. The function allows between two and ten people to participate in a video call at the same time. The software automatically moves the focus to the person speaking on the call. Skype said video calling accounted for 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes in the first half of 2010.

The VoIP service now also boasts a simplified user interface, along with an 'automatic call recovery' function that Skype says helps users to quickly reconnect calls that are interrupted due to internet connection problems.

"Skype has taken another leap forward in helping people connect with the people and communities they care about. The integration with Facebook makes more of your contacts available on Skype, giving you the ability to find and connect with more people which, in turn, makes Skype more useful," said Mike Bartlett, director of project management at Skype.

"Skype has also expanded the ways in which people can do things together whenever they are apart, with the free trial of group video calling beta."

Skype 5.0 can be download from Skype's website now.

See also: Skype unveils Google Android app

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