LUXEMBOURG, 14th March, 2007 – Skype today announced Skype™ 3.1 for Windows, introducing SkypeFindTM and Skype PrimeTM (Beta), giving people new ways to share knowledge with one another. These new additions take Skype beyond simple voice and video calls into new markets where access to expertise and knowledge are essential commodities.
In less than four years, Skype has become a vibrant community of over 171 million registered users worldwide. SkypeFind is the latest in a series of features that give people more to do and share online. It marks a new wave in Internet communications that goes far beyond just talking or chatting.
Designed to be a community-generated guide, SkypeFind lets users rate, review and log their favourite businesses no matter where they live. Since launching in Beta three weeks ago, SkypeFind has attracted more than 4500 listings in over 124 countries and expects these listings to increase to over a million by the end of the year.
According to a recent report from Forrester Research, more than one quarter of online consumers have submitted a rating or review of a product or service or contributed to a discussion board (“Leveraging User-Generated Content,” Brian Haven, January 25, 2007).
Sten Tamkivi, general manager of eCommerce for Skype says, “SkypeFind brings the global community to your doorstep. Skype users love sharing knowledge with one another because it is so liberating and empowering. SkypeFind is also so easy to use – even if you’re abroad. If you’re traveling in France and you want to find a great restaurant, just log onto Skype, click on SkypeFind and you have recommendations you can trust, direct from the Skype community.”
Also launched today is the Beta release of Skype Prime – a new marketplace which brings together those people who have expertise or knowledge to sell with others who are seeking advice and happy to pay for it. Skype was built from the ground up and Skype Prime is no exception and is in the very early stages of its lifecycle.
Currently in its beta test phase, Skype Prime is reliant on how people and small businesses sell and share their expertise and knowledge on Skype. User feedback has always been a fundamental part of how Skype has evolved as a product and equally, a part of its popularity.
Giving millions of people and small businesses the opportunity to charge for their expertise, Skype Prime is a new direction for the company. Skype Prime offers Skype users the chance to make money and reach potential customers all over the world provided they are using Skype 3.1 for Windows. It is easy to set up and you can determine your own per minute or one-off fees. Skype Prime fees are paid using PayPal and subject to a 30% charge by Skype for using the Skype Prime service.
Tamkivi adds that Skype Prime “is all about making the world a smaller place. If you are a financial advisor or astrologer, a sports coach or a tutor and you want to sell your expertise online, Skype Prime opens up a whole new market by letting you sell your knowledge to Skype’s global community.”
Skype’s popularity originates in letting people make free Skype calls over the Internet. As the world’s largest Internet communications community, Skype is committed to giving its users the ability to set their conversations free at home, at work and on the move.
Skype is focused on further developing its ecosystem of more than 50 hardware partners and more than 160 Skype Certified™ devices to broaden the appeal of Skype to a wider base of users who want to use Skype away from the PC, no matter where they happen to be. This is especially true for Skype users who want to take advantage of the mobile Skype experience, which is already accessible to more than 5 million Skype users on over 120 different Windows Mobile® Smartphones and Pocket PC devices.
SkypeFind is a new, user-generated guide that lets the Skype community share, rate and review businesses – from car dealerships to flower shops to hair salons to restaurants – worldwide. To add a recommended business, simply click on the SkypeFind tab and add your review and rating. To search for a business, simply select the country you wish to search in, enter the type of business you are looking for and then click on search. Should you wish to call the business you’ve found, simply select the green call button and a SkypeOut™ call will be immediately placed. Initially, SkypeFind will not allow for paid-for listings.
About Skype Prime
Skype Prime is a new way for people to sell their expertise, answers and advice anytime and anywhere to other Skype users who are seeking this knowledge, entertainment or skill and are happy to pay for it. Skype Prime is very straightforward to use. It consists of Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls and includes a convenient payment feature. People using Skype Prime to sell their knowledge or expertise can charge for their advice once the Skype user has confirmed they will pay the relevant fee.
Skype is the world’s fastest-growing Internet communication offering, allowing unlimited free voice, video and instant messaging communication between users of Skype Software. With over 171 million registered users, Skype is available in 28 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, voicemail, call forwarding and personalization including ringtones and avatars. Skype also has relationships with a growing network of hardware and software providers.
Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). To learn more visit Skype at www.skype.com.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required for Skype and all Skype Certified devices and accessories. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling.
Skype, SkypeIn, SkypeOut, Skype Me, Skype Certified, Skypecasts, associated logos and the “S” symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.