A new version of MySpace's instant messaging client will let users access Skype's free Internet phone calls.
MySpace and Skype are hooking up, unveiling on Oct. 17 a new version of MySpaces instant messaging client that will let users access Skypes free Internet phone calls.
This pairing brings two of the hottest online purveyors of free communications services together: MySpace boasts 110 million monthly active users, and Skype has a roster of 220 million registered users worldwide.
Mainly a phenomenon of the consumer space, Skype has made inroads in the business space, and social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have also shown enterprise applications.
With the announcement, MySpace is unveiling a new offering: MySpaceIM with Skype. MySpace claims that it has the fastest-growing IM platform in the world, with more than 25 million installed users.
Under the partnership, users will also be able to link their MySpace profiles and photos or avatars to their Skype accounts. Both that feature and the new IM client will be launched in November in 20
The calls will be free and can be placed to other MySpace or Skype users. No additional Skype software has to be downloaded by MySpace users who want to take advantage of the new services.
"MySpaceIM with Skype is a truly groundbreaking product integration and partnership," said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of MySpace, in a press release. "Skype has the leading technology in Internet voice communications and an enormous international user base that were thrilled to connect with our existing community. Our network has no geographical boundariesInternet calling is the natural next step for how our members communicate with each other."
countries where MySpace has localized communities.
Market experts claim
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Skype, available in 28 languages, claims usage in almost every country. However, users in Japan, China and Taiwan wont be allowed to link their Skype accounts to their MySpace profiles. The companies failed to provide a reason for this restriction, and Skype hadnt responded to an inquiry by the time this story posted.
Beyond free international calls, MySpaceIM with Skype users have the option of paying for these premium features:
SkypeOutTo make calls to landlines and cell phones domestically or internationally;
SkypeInA local phone number to receive calls wherever a user is in the world from other people on landlines or cell phones;
VoicemailTo take voice messages when a user is busy or offline; and
Call forwardingTo redirect incoming Skype calls to a landline or cell phone.
MySpaceIM with Skype will support the same personal privacy settings available in the MySpace network. Users whose profiles are set to "private" wont be able to receive a Skype call from a caller who isnt on their "friends" list. Also, users can opt to allow calls only from those theyve added to their Skype personal contact list. Users will also be able to block any MySpaceIM with Skype user at any point. In addition, an incoming call window will enable users to prescreen calls in order to accept, ignore or block the call.
Financial terms of the MySpace and Skype deal were not disclosed.
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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.