Rumor: Facebook and Skype to team up for in-browser video chat?

Earlier this week it was reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to reveal something "awesome" that will launch from the social networking service sometime next week. Now, TechCrunch is reporting via unnamed sources that the mystery launch will in fact be a new web browser based video chat system that Facebook has been working for some time with Skype. The official press invite for the launch product shows some kind of chat icons which seem to confirm that there will be some sort of chat feature for this product launch.

While details are scarce, the TechCrunch story claims that the Facebook-Skype project will have some sort of desktop component. However, it's not clear if the product will need additional an additional software download. Skype currently has "just" 170 million registered users while Facebook has over 750 million users. Skype could increase its user registrations significantly if this joint project with Facebook turns out to be true.

Many users have been awaiting a number of rumored projects from Facebook. The projects include a photo sharing app for the iPhone to a Facebook app made especially for the iPad. There's also the rumored "Project Spartan", an HTML5-based app store that is supposedly being developed as a kind of alternative to Apple's App Store.

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting the official word from Microsoft that its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype has finally closed. Microsoft has pledged to continue to develop Skype for other platforms.

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