From Skype's PR counsel Chaim Haas via e-mail comes news of the download availability of the newest beta (3.2) of Skype for Windows. Among some new features is the ability to send money (via PayPal) to other Skype users (we have an image gallery of screenshots that shows how this works). According to the e-mail, the enhancements are:
- Importing contacts from more sources – "Users can now import their contacts from web based e-mail applications such as MSN Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail." The way this works is, let's say you can't seem to find someone that you know is in Skype (based on their name). By importing e-mail addresses into the Skype client, it can then go off and see if anybody is registered under those e-mail addresses. If they are, you can add them to your contact list. If they're not, Skype can automatically send them a note encouraging them to join Skype and find you under your Skype username (a bit of viral marketing there) if they don't exist on the system... sends note find me there......
- Video Snapshot – Skype has taken the video-calling feature that it recently introduced and now makes it possible to grab a still image photo as well. The images can be used for your Skype avatar and on your Skype account profile.
- Send Money via Paypal – Now, we're starting to see the parent company's (eBay) plan for tying its various properties together. Although senders and recipients of money still need to establish accounts on Paypal (under the hood, eBay is not using a single ID management system for both), now, instead of having to know someone's email address to wire them money via Paypal, you can simply wire it to their Skype ID. As can be seen from our image gallery of screen shots that shows how this works, everything happens contextually from within the Skype client. One other important point, once a Skype-based recipient of money logs into a PayPal account through the Skype client, they won't have to do it again in order for funds to flow directly from someone who sends money to the PayPal account of a Skype user.
Shown below is a screen shot (furnished by Skype) of how the ability to PayPal money to a Skype contact is one of the many options that are available when it comes to interacting with a contact. Be sure to check out our image gallery for a bunch of other images that show the send money feature of Skype in action.