Why Skype Can Win

skype logo Skype, the IM and VOIP leader, has just won me over. But can it win the game for the long term?

I’ve been using IM for ages. The past few weeks, however, I’ve begun using Skype for VOIP to talk with partners and business relations. Today, I have been won over.

While searching for an ad server for Perfect Space (we want to only display local, very relevant ads) I used Skype to get an answer to a question which wasn’t covered in the company’s FAQ.

I have to give ValueAd props for being available and so quickly answering my questions. Unfortunately, they aren’t the server for us, but I still recommend them if only for their availability. If you’re looking for an ad server, give them a shot.

Anyway, back to the point.

Having used Skype as a tool to connect and get direct communication with a company, I hereby declare Skype the winner.

Why? Because, (1) they’ve gone past the tipping point in many industries. For instance, Eventful is starting to use it for internal communication. Not only have they become ubiquitous in many industries (2), depending on how you use it, it’s free – which helps in spreading the ubiquity into other verticals by word of mouth and adoption. Lastly (3), the general public is beginning to adopt it and use it as a standard. It’s not just for techies anymore. When the general public adopts something businesses must also adopt it. When businesses adopt because of the public, you’ve got a winner.

Problems with Skype

There are some problems with Skype, though. I’ve noticed on a Mac, there are feedback problems for people on the other end because they don’t filter out noise on your end like the iSight does using iChat. Additionally, some of the voice quality could get slightly better. But, those are minor issues that can be dealt with quickly and easily.

The Future of Skype

Skype has already talked of (and implemented in some situations) fees for use. Count on the number of fees and the price to go up slowly. The only way they’ll be able to slow price increases is by monetization in some other form, which typically means ads.

The technology is great, but not exactly new. Their WOM is rabid. The company is gaining exposure and popularity. And, they (as a division of eBay) can easily become profitable if they are not already. Count on Skype to keep innovating and improving their penetration into the general use of citizens everywhere.

[tags]skype, ebay[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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