eBay buys Skype

Oh, the wonders of the Internet!

I was digging through my stats and I saw a few hits coming from Cristi Streng’s link page. Opening that page I saw two things: a link to my previous post marked with a ‘Wow’ icon (I would rather mark it with a ‘Boo!’) and a link to Engadget stating that it’s finally official: Internet giant eBay bought small but ubercool (at least until now) Skype. For none less than $2.6 billion. That is 2.600.000.000 dollars. Now that really deserved that ‘Wow’ icon. The tech savvy crowd’s reaction is pretty much the same as with Yahoo! buying Flickr. Just look at the comments following the entry on Engadget. I bet that if Skype was more of a web based application we would see a “we’ll jump ship” crowd forming in the next few hours or days just like on Flickr. But it’s not web based, it’s just a program running on the user’s desktop and I bet that many will have no ideea about what went on below (or above?) the hood and they’ll just keep using it because of the great audio quality it offers.

It’s fairly obvious that eBay will start integrating and promoting Skype on their auction pages to help ease communication between the buyer and the seller, as they announced this in their press release. I tend to think that this is a good thing because it’s one thing to sit down and write someone an e-mail / message asking about the auctioned item and completely other to press two buttons and just shoot away questions in the most natural form of human communication. Except if we’re talking about used underwear of course. We could even say that eBay has it’s own IM client now. What I don’t really like are the implications of the statement that they’ll integrate the service with PayPal. The first thing that comes to my mind is that paid calls to regular phone numbers via Skype will become unaccessible over the night for us, Romanians. You know, because we’re not on PayPal’s world map. We’re on PayPal’s CAUTION FULL OF SCAMMERS map.

What other changes will this acquisiton bring? We’ll live and see, eum, I mean, hear.

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