Facebook Charging Rumor Goes Viral As Video Chat Announced

Facebook made its "awesome" announcement today: it's partnering with Skype to offer video chat, just days after the launch of Google+.

The Skype-Facebook partnership had been rumored for some time, and the video chat feature has already gone live (you can try it here).

But the partnership seems to have resurfaced fears about Facebook charging for that or other services. In the past, some have questioned how a Skype-Facebook partnership would make money.

The rumor that charging could be in Facebook's plans has gone viral. The typical status update goes like this:

"It's offical~ Signal at 12:20 it even passed on tv. Facebook will start charging this summer. If you copy this on your wall, your icon will turn blue & facebook will be free for you. Please pass this message, if not your account will be deleted. P.S. this is serious the icon turns blue. So please"

No word from Facebook yet, but for now it's just a rumor (but it's going strong). There are no signs Facebook will begin charging for its service, currently 100% free. But some caution the move could even happen in 2012 and 2013.

It's not the first time fears of Facebook charging have emerged. In January 2010, similar rumors went viral, which Facebook dismissed. At the time, a spokesman said: "We have no plans to charge users for Facebook's basic services. Facebook is a free service for its 350 million users."

Other rumors have spread through the service quickly as well, due to its easy-to-share and viral nature, including that Facebook was shutting down altogether in March 2011.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Facebook tells The Huffington Post, "Facebook is free and always will be."