February 08, 2007

Yesterday I downloaded Skype 3.0. There are now some interesting plug-ins. There's a cool, shared white-board for collaborative drawing over your Skype call, and a Chinese checkers, a game I used to play a lot with my parents.

What's also cool, of course, is that these plug-ins are viral. Before you can use the whiteboard with other people, they also have to download them. I imagine that makes Skype quite an exiting place to develop software for, right now. A chance for your apps. to take off ... very, very quickly.

There seems to be a torrent-style file-sharing software. Hope it's better than Skype's relay. If it is, and it really is like BitTorrent, it could be very useful.

There also seem to be a couple of plug-ins for finding people and asking for live advice. This is really significant ... Skype could end up really running the "live" web. Especially if they get live people searching. Essentially anyone will be able to set themselves up to sell live phone services without having to work for a call-centre, a phone-sex company or the Mechanical Turk.

What I find strange, though, is that Skype still don't seem to have sorted out some kind of PayPal integration that would allow people to pay for services directly over their call. I don't see a plug-in for that, but it seems obvious. And an obvious revenue stream for Skype. Skype don't charge for the calls themselves but at least skimming something off pay-by-the-minute services should be possible, if they get involved in the payment part. And as both Skype and PayPal are owned by EBay ...

Not sure whether this is actually already going on and I just missed it; or if Skype have a blind-spot about this; or if it's going to be announced next week; or if there's some glaring technical or legal impediment I'm too dumb to notice.

Any ideas from the readers?
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