Posted by: Rob Hof on October 16, 2007
It’s such a natural that some blogs had predicted in recent weeks it should happen: eBay’s Skype and News Corp.’s MySpace are going to share their DNA, as it were. MySpace, the popular social network, is integrating Skype’s Internet voice services with MySpace’s instant-messaging service, so with a click, MySpace members can make Skype calls to their friends if they have the MySpace I.M. client installed. At the same time, Skype users will be able to join MySpace via Skype, call MySpace friends, and populate their Skype profile with MySpace profile elements.
The announcement, to be made late tonight, apparently got leaked early, but a briefing I got with the companies indicates a deep, wide-ranging partnership. Both companies benefit, since there’s little overlap between Skype and MySpace I.M. users, especially geographically. And both companies can probably use a boost, since Facebook is gaining fast on MySpace, and eBay just wrote off $1.4 billion of its $4.1 billion acquisition of Skype. PC-to-PC calls are free, but the two companies will share revenue on Skype calls to cellular phones and landlines, for which Skype charges about 2 cents a minute. The services will launch in beta to the public in November.
Skype isn’t saying if this is an exclusive arrangement, but Skype G.M. Don Albert says this is the first time Skype has released its core code library to another company. “This is an unprecedented way to bring conversation into social networks,” he says.