Skype: Social Network with Voice

Earlier this week, I argued that Skype might be better thought of as a social network or an ad network (or ad-enabler for PPCall) with voice/video rather than the other way around. Continuing along that path, today Skype launched "Skypecasts," which offers free moderated "conversations" (presumably with video at some point) for up to 100 people.

The WSJ (sub. req'd) quotes Skype's North American general manager Henry Gomez as saying, "The idea is to get (Skype) in front of small businesses and consumers like my mom."

Skypecasts could be a marketing or CRM tool for small business. But more likely it's the "MySpace generation" that will figure out the uses for Skypecasts and start using it accordingly before small businesses as a group. Anyone can create a Skypecast on any subject, from movies to motherhood.

Clearly Skypecasts do have interesting, potential small business uses (here's one promoting the Skype affiliate model). Similarly experts of all sorts could have "one to many" seminars/webinars. Think about "buying real estate with no money down" or "take advantage of little-know tax deductions" or "you can still make money as an eBay seller." These would be promotional tools for books, courses and so on. There are other possibilities here too. This doesn't get into some of the ad/CRM dimensions that use IM/presence, click to call or PPCall.

But Skype will probably need to explicity point those and other uses out to help most small businesses to "get it." Another challenge might be the "appointment" dimension of this; I have to show up at a specific time to participate. That's like the broadcast TV or current radio model, which are giving way to "on-demand" models. Some sort of archiving feature would be helpful to address that limitation.

Regardless, Skypecasts is another feature of Skype that uses IP telephony but is ultimately about something larger and potentially more interesting.


Here's the San Jose Mercury News story on Skypecasts.  


2 Responses to “Skype: Social Network with Voice”

  1. | Business Blogs - RSS Feeds - Business Case Studies | Business Thought Leadership | BNET Says:

    […] While I hear the words in the press releases and media reports about these new services Skype is offering for small businesses, the small business angle feels somewhat like a stretch — especially the Skypecasts.  I don’t see that many small businesses using Skypecasts.  Skype would have done better to introduce a true conference calling solution for more than 4 participants (the current limitation) than the social-media infused Skypecasts.  That would have been a more practical service for small businesses.  See blogger Greg Stirling’s viewpoint, also predicting limited uptake by small businesses. | Blog This | E-mail This | Print This | Permanent Link […]

  2. Skype Launches Local, Social Search « Screenwerk Says:

    […] May last year I argued that Skype could be thought of as a “social network with voice.” While this is one […]

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