Report: Video calling to top 380 million users by 2015

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New players to the video calling market and the increasing adoption of mobile video calling are expected to drive the growth of the market to at least 380 million active users by 2015, new research shows.

Calls made from PCs, mobile phones and even televisions all are expected to see huge growth as the market sees a more than six-fold increase from the 63 million users in 2010, said market research firm NPD.

"While the mobile arena is relatively nascent, it has fueled much of the growth in usage over the course of 2011," said Amy Cravens, an NPD senior analyst. "The entry of players with significant market presence has been critical in pushing mass adoption in mobile video calling. Currently, the living room market is still quite small; however, In-Stat expects to see significant developments in this market in the coming years."

NPD forecasts calls using personal computers will continue to make up the majority of video calling minutes and added that integration with other applications, especially social networks, will be a "significant market driver."

Miscrosoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) recently acquired free VoIP provider Skype, for example, just announced deeper integration with Facebook.

Earlier this month, it launched  Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows. The updated betas allow users to conduct a Facebook-to-Facebook video chat from within Skype, as well as to call Facebook friends, colleagues and business contacts without having to actually go to the Facebook site.

Video calls can be answered in either service, depending which one users are logged into. Once users link their Skype and Facebook accounts, the new releases continue to allows Skype users to send instant messages and to follow friends' status updates.

NPD, meanwhile, said Skype would likely maintain its current leadership role in terms of video calling solutions across screen types: PC, mobile and TV.

For more:
- see this release

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