The New York Times reports that EBay bought Skype for $2.6 billion yesterday.
Are you familiar with Skype? It is a great service that I’ve been using extensively in the last few months to talk with people all over the world (and in particular my family in Russia!). The sound quality is at least as good as a land-line and definitely better than a cell phone!. And the best part is that it is free to talk to another Skype user! If you are interested in skyping me, just send me an email and I’ll happily pass along my Skype name!
One of the ways that I think Skype could be useful would be in connecting me to people thinking of moving to Seattle. If you are interested in learning more about Seattle real estate, then definitely consider connecting with me via Skype!
I know I’m not the only one thinking of using Skype for business purposes. According to NY Times their revenue is expected to grow from an estimate of $60M this year to about $ 200M in 2006. E-Bay sees this communication technology making on-line trading easier “particularly with transactions involving real estate, big-ticket purchases and services that require detailed conversations.”
“I’m a big believer in focusing brands and businesses that are in very large markets,” Ms. Whitman said by phone from London. EBay is “absolutely not” interested in developing a portal, she said. “You can be sure we’re going to focus on e-commerce.”
In addition to the basic service, about two million Skype customers have signed up for a pay service that allows them to use their computers to make calls to regular phone numbers as well as receive calls from landlines and cell phones. To complete these calls, Skype pays phone companies small per-minute fees.
They also give an interesting statistics as that only 13 percent of Skype’s users are in North America; nearly half are in Europe and another quarter are in Asia.
Some industry specialists said eBay’s purchase of Skype was a sign that voice calls would increasingly become one of many services that Internet companies would provide, rather than a stand-alone business.
“This turns the entire telecom industry picture on its head, and demonstrates that voice, presence, text messaging and other I.P.-based applications will be essential for the company of the future,” said Jeff Pulver, the chairman of pulvermedia, which promotes Internet-based phone services.