MySpace will give its millions of members the ability to engage in free voice chats via the MySpace instant messaging service, thanks to a partnership with internet telephony provider Skype.
Under the deal, MySpace users will be able to access the voice over IP (VoIP) Skype telephony service through the instant messaging (IM) tools embedded in MySpace profile pages.
News Corp's MySpace and eBay subsidiary Skype will announce the beta version of the service, called MySpace IM with Skype today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
MySpace, the world's largest social network, has about 110 million monthly active users, while Skype has about 220 million registered users, the companies said.
MySpaceIM with Skype will be released in November and will mesh MySpace's IM service, which has an installed base of 25 million users, with Skype's internet voice communications services, the companies said.
Users will also be able to link their MySpace profiles with their Skype accounts.
The voice chat service will let MySpace users call others in the social network as well as Skype users. MySpaceIM with Skype will not require users to download any additional Skype software.
MySpace will launch the voice chat service in 20 countries where it has 'localised' communities. Meanwhile, Skype will allow its users to link their accounts to their MySpace profile worldwide except in Japan, China and Taiwan.
Beyond the free voice chat service, MySpace users will also get the option of buying other premium Skype products, such as SkypeOut for generating calls from Skype to outside lines, as well as SkypeIn for receiving calls from outside lines.