Skype: A Social Network?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 2, 2007

Yesterday, I talked to Jon Arnold, principal at telecom consultancy J. Arnold & Associates, about the future of Skype. And he said he believes that Skype could be turned into a successful social network.

Consider: Skype has some 220 million users, vs. Facebook’s 40 million. About 20% of these Skypers use the service all the time. They can already message and call each other through the network. They are already able to exchange files (in fact, that capability is more developed on Skype than on many existing social networks). If only Skype made it easier for people to post and exchange photos and videos, and allowed for postings of longer profiles, it could rival MySpace and its ilk, sustained through advertising and sponsorships.

The problem is, eBay doesn’t see Skype as a social network, says Arnold. The auction giant sees it as merely a phone service. Perhaps it will take another owner to transform Skype into a Facebook or a MySpace.

Reader Comments

Pierluigi Rotundo

October 15, 2007 8:40 AM

I don't see skype as a social network. Otherwise also whitepages may represent a social network. It depends on what are the distinguishing features that characterize a social network.

Pierluigi Rotundo


December 9, 2008 2:44 PM

yes, i think skype is a social network. in fact, everyday skype works on communicating people from all over the world. in that cas it is launching a new plug-in from Moka.Moka Chat Skype plug in (download it from could be a great tool for learning Chinese and Spanish or communicating with [Chinese]/[Spanish] [friends]/[contacts]/[associates] on skype. This application gives you real-time translation of your text messages which you could then send to your contacts. At the same time, it enables to improve your language skills because you can see, save, and memorize the translated texts.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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