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Facebook and Skype Join Forces

by Melissa Smich on October 4, 2010

The Skype workforce has been continually evolving the product since its release onto the market in 2003, starting with simple peer-to-peer communication and eventually growing into a multi-feature communication giant. The 100-million strong user following makes use of voice and video calling over the internet, personalized phone numbers, and reduced-rate international phone-to-phone capabilities, with over 23 million users online during peak times.  Armed with these facts, it’s not hard to understand why Skype is extending its grasp to social media king, Facebook.

Although nothing has been finalized in mainstream media, there are strong rumors flooding into newsrooms that the partnership of the popular websites is sure to happen.  As it currently stands, Skype has just been involved in a transaction with eBay, former owners of the company, to return it to its independent state. This clears the way for Skype to have full control over the direction it travels in and adds more credibility to the Facebook rumors. The fact of the matter, however, is that Skype is already integrated into the social network, with many choices available to those who want to make social browsing and voice-to-voice communication more streamlined.

Third-party applications are available on Facebook to integrate the now-famous ‘green tick’ into chats and messages where a contact is recognized as being on the individual’s Skype friends list. Web-browser add-ons are another option, recognizing phone numbers in webpages and adding an option to call them through the currently active Skype account, all directly from the webpage. An official merger would simply mean more access to the Skype account through Facebook, with the ability to add friends, make phone calls and share files right from Facebook’s homepage — a powerful social media marketing initiative.

The partnership seems to be inspired by successful directional choices of movie-rental empire Netflix. In recent years the industry has seen this company grow from a small movie-by-mail enterprise to an integrated streaming giant with playback support on growing list of games consoles and entertainment systems. This helped expand the accessibility to millions more potential customers, and increased profits considerably. This is a move that is clearly beneficial to Skype, whose team recognizes that communication is a hot commodity when advertised in the right places.

Skype and Facebook are two social media success stories that have the same sole purpose of profiting from the general public’s common need to communicate constantly and easily. With a potential deal ready to happen any day now, users of this software can look forward to increased service and better accessibility very soon.

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WrigleyF October 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I’m surprised that ebay would let Skype go. It seems like they could’ve sold it outright to a larger company for huge profits.

PotsNPans October 5, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Skype and Facebook would make a dream team. Imagine clicking on someone’s Facebook page and right away their profile photo starts talking to you!

Elias October 6, 2010 at 7:27 AM

I am sceptical for the whole thing because many of these super deals do not usually work. I think what Skype needs to do is monetize more of its FREE users and expand rapidly to small businesses. Now, it is vulnerable to any deal that is dropped on the table in order to stay on the game. Would it really make a difference if they add another 100 million FREE users? I believe it would not… Free users are very expensive to keep, they use resources and in return you get nothing. Some may say free promotion but at the end of the month bandwidth bills must be paid. I have been in similar case, at much smaller scale of course ( around 500,000 users ) and you really need to spend alot to keep the service clean and most of the times you get nothing from free users.

Just my 2 cents :)

Rusher October 13, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I agree that Skype would be well-suited to monetize its free customers. What would be the best way to do that? More ads? Paid subscriptions? (Unlike many websites, I believe some people might actually pay for a Skype account.)

Texas2Step September 20, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Ads are probably the most effective way to monetize any Internet service.

Randy5 October 12, 2011 at 9:23 AM

I’ve been a huge fan of Skype from the outset. Voice-to-voice communication is just so much more fun than IMing, in my opinion.

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