So where are the "SkypeMe" icons for U.S. eBay transactions?
Writing in Sunday's New York Times, Randall Stross raises a good point. If eBay bought Skype largely because of the potential of click-to-call over Skype to boost the communications level for eBay auctions, why has eBay been so slow to introduce SkypeMe icons on eBay auction pages?
If eBay bought Skype largely because of the potential of click-to-call over Skype to boost the communications level for eBay auctions, why has eBay been so slow to introduce SkypeMe icons on eBay auction pages?
eBay spokesperson Chris Donlay tells Randall that "we try not to throw something out there."
Well, that's a reasonable explanation. Let me get this straight. You threw $2.6 billion (plus another $1.5 billion to follow)"out there," partially on the potential of what SkypeMe could do for you, and all of a sudden you now are getting gun-shy?
Randall thinks part of the problem could be that eBay has not yet convinced advertisers that they would get a bump in business by featuring an icon for a service that not a lot of folks - especially domestic U.S. callers- use just yet.
"Using a headset for every call is a habit yet to be acquired by most people," Randall writes, adding that unlike some other IP telephony services that work with standard phones most people are used to, Skype can only be used with Skype-certified devices.
He doesn't flat come out and say it, but I have to think that the logistics of shipping plus the type of merchandise being offered for sale by North American sellers lends to purchase by parties located in North America.
And while Skype is cheap for international calls, and eBay does have a presence in 220 countries, there aren't enough international eBay transactions coming from the U.S. to get eBay excited enough to mount a full-court press on SkypeMe for eBay.