Facebook has announced a deal with Skype, bringing video chat to the social networking site for the first time.

The company's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the agreement at the company's headquarters this evening and said it will be rolled out across the site immediately.

Facebook currently has over 750m active users, including close to 2m in Ireland.

Skype has 145m users at present, meaning the deal could give them a significant boost.

The deal is also a sign of the deepening relationship between Facebook and Microsoft, which is in the process of acquiring Skype for $8.5bn.

Facebook's announcement comes a week after Google unveiled its own social network that is widely seen as a potential challenger to Facebook.

The search giant's new service, called Google+, offers video chatting as one of its main features.