In Kara Swisher’s (http://kara.allthingsd.com) excellent Boomtown blog today she offered an ‘exclusive’ that Skype and Facebook are close to a deal. Kara started out with ‘You didn’t think Facebook would integrate with Google (GOOG) Voice, did you?’ I love that! But what immediately struck me was – why didn’t I think of that?
Per Kara, according to her sources close to the situation, Facebook and Skype are poised to announce a significant and wide-ranging partnership that will include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect.
According to the post, Facebook’s goal, (according to sources) is to mesh communications and community more tightly together and add more tools to allow users to do so. And FB was not going to create an internet telephone service anyway.
With more than 120 million people using Skype at least once a month and 560 million registered users, the 500 million Facebook users would now be able to use it more seamlessly within Skype.
That will include allowing users to SMS and call Facebook friends from Skype, which will now deploy Facebook Connect. It all will be available in Skype’s newest version, 5.0, which emerges from beta in a few weeks. This is a big win for the Luxembourg-based Skype, who is supposedly readying a public offering.
Skype, while dominating the online calling arena is being proactive and realizes that it needs to be present where users are now moving, such as FB. And for Facebook, this is also helpful to its international push, making it more appealing globally since Skype is much more popular outside the U.S. It would make sense for both Skype and FB to integrate the partnership into their popular mobile apps too.
I use Skype more and more often now, particularly since we are actively pursuing business in China, Asia and beyond. It’s really a very useful tool and only getting better. I was at the OMMA conference yesterday in New York and David Kenny spoke about HD video chat being the next BIG thing. Skype is poised and ready to jump on that opportunity.
I was a bit concerned about Oovoo.com moving in on Skype’s territory but Oovoo.com has done little to make any real headway. This likely partnership between Skype and FB puts Skype far out in front and is a game changer as far as I am concerned.
But I keep asking myself – why didn’t I think of that?
Excellent post, Mark. And really signals what’s important in marketing, technology and communications with a capital “C.” Big ideas. Big ideas. Big ideas.
Think of the scale: we’re talking about mobilizing (pardon the pun) communications among groups of people that we have to measure with numbers that start with “b.” Wow.
Of course, the real wild card is the monetization model, and who gets what from what. With two very big players each driving audience it will be difficult to sort out those dollars, which are also likely to be measured in the “b’s.”
What’s inarguable is that there will be dollars to be shared. Interestingly both Skype and FB have revenue models but no necessarily dynamic ones. More about scale than scope. I too wonder how the monetization will occur but no matter what I am glad that it is to happen.
Thanks as always for the provactive comment Nader.