Mac users have been waiting patiently for Skype to put in Facebook support for their version of the Internet phone service. Today the wait is over as Skype announced on its blog site that the beta version of Skype 5.4 for the Mac is now available for download. As with the previously released 5.5 version of Skype for Windows, Mac OS X users can now check out and use all of the additional Facebook features.
That includes things like being able to read and post messages on your Facebook news feed from inside the Skype application. The update also allows Mac users to comment and "Like" other friends" news posts, as well as chat with them via Facebook"s message system. Free users of the Mac version will also see ads in the new Skype Mac beta update. As with the previously launched ad platform for the Windows version, free users of Skype for the Mac should only see the occasional ad banner. Those ads shouldn"t interfere with using Skype, and people who pay to use the premium version of Skype or have Skype Credit won"t be seeing any ads in either version.
Skype is still waiting for the official approval from European regulators in order for its proposed $8.5 billion merger with Microsoft to become official. The merger, which was first announced last May, was given the go ahead from the US government over the summer. When the merger closes, Skype will become a division inside Microsoft, but will still continue to develop and release versions of Skype for the Mac and other platforms.