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Skype 5 for Windows has Facebook integration, group video calls, and a redesigned interface

Skype 5 downloadSkype for Windows has officially reached version 5. The most important feature addition is, as expected, Facebook integration. Group video calls, a feature that has been available in Skype 5 betas, has also made the jump to the stable version. Some work to clean up the UI has also been done.

The new Facebook tab brings your News Feed into Skype and lets you post messages, comment, and like updates as you would in any other Facebook client. The Facebook Phonebook in Skype now makes calling or texting your Facebook friends easier than ever; it's always just a few clicks away.

Group video calls are now in open beta for all users of Skype 5. This features a dynamic view that automatically shifts the focus to the person who is speaking, which makes it easier to follow video chats with large groups of people.

Automatic call recovery auto-redials a call whenever it's dropped. The call quality manager is also improved. It provides real time information on video or voice call quality as well as tips for solving any problems that occur.

The new dashboard, called Skype Home, is basically a feed of your contacts' mood messages, which sounds strangely Twitter-ish, but it's also the way to access tutorials about everything that Skype does.

Skype 5 is a free download for Windows and is available right now.

Along with the announcement of the new version, Skype has also made some interesting stats available: 40% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes used in the first half of this year were for video calls, and Skype users spend an average of 520 million minutes per day calling people from Skype. Impressive, no? And the new features introduced today will probably help those numbers go even higher.

Tags: chat, communication, facebook, freeware, skype, skype 5, Skype5, video chat, VideoChat, voip