MySpace and Skype have announced a partnership that will see the two companies' IM clients interoperate. Scheduled to roll out in November, the new version of MySpaceIM, dubbed MySpaceIM with Skype, will enable users to place and receive VoIP calls through Skype's network, either to other MySpaceIM users or those using Skype's own client. The functionality will also work the other way, with Skype users able to IM or call MySpaceIM users.
MySpaceIM users will be able to take advantage of SkypeOut, SkypeIn, voicemail and call-forwarding features, providing a potential new revenue stream for eBay-owned Skype. To that end, the financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
As Om Malik notes, this is the first time that Skype is interoperating with any outside IM clients, and for a service which has failed to justify its purchase price, partnering in order to expose the product to more users -- some of which will be converted into paying customers -- is a smart move. And what better partner than the biggest social networking site in the world, right? However, despite MySpace claiming 110 million active users, only 25 million have downloaded the MySpaceIM client, and probably far fewer regularly use it.
Having said that, the addition of VoIP functionality and the overnight widening of its user base to include Skype's millions of existing users, could help drive up use of the MySpaceIM client (the network effect). The only losers in this deal are VoIP startups, such as Jaxtr, who've explicitly targeted MySpace.