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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : November 09, 2006

Skype Testing New Features

New software from free talker Skype is testing user friendly click-to-call features with an e-commerce bent as well as group chat for blogs.

by Kristina Knight

Skype 3.0 has launched in public beta, it allows users to place a call with one click. CEO Niklas Zennstrom said (via MarketingVOX) the new software will reduce the company’s dependence on communications revenue by targeting e-commerce. "Our long-term goal is to have much more balance between e-commerce and telecommunications revenues," Zennstron said.

The new software allows users to place a call by simply clicking on phone numbers displayed in web pages, a huge change for online marketers. In the past users had to find the numbers and make several clicks to connect, the new way will facilitate buying products online or finding physical store locations in unfamiliar cities. Parent company eBay has wanted this feature since buying Skype in 2005. Other features include the ability to set up text-based chats with up to 100 other users, whether they are Skype customers or not. This feature can be embedded in blogs to encourage chatting among all visitors.

"When Skype started out, people communicated with people who knew each other already, one-to-one," Zennstrom said (via Reuters). "Now you can host a public conversation on any topic."

Skype had 136 million users registered users at the end of the September, up 23 million since June. The company hopes the new software will continue to boost revenue. Skype expects to see $195 million in revenue this year. That is 225% more than the $60 million they brought in 2005.

Tags: blogs, click-to-call, Skype

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