Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Skype is on a roll - 100 billion minutes and counting...

Skype has recently hit a couple of big milestones, and for all the problems around their marriage with eBay, you have to step back and give them some credit for doing things that have never been done before.

First off is the recent news that Skype has passed the 100 billion minute mark. I don't know about you, but I sure can't count that high, and it's a huge number, especially for a service that's only been around a few years. Anyone know how long it took the PSTN to get this? Of course, that's where the discussion ends, as the telcos have made billions over the years, and for the most part, have had the regulators on their side.

Skype, on the other hand, is making decent money on fantastic volume, but they have a long way to go to become the money maker that telcos have long been. There's more to discuss here, of course, but basically, Skype has had a hard time finding market acceptance of their business model and vision within the eBay fold, and it's anyone's guess as to whether they will stay with eBay, or pass into the hands of someone like Google. Oh, so much to talk about here, but let's move on...

That aside, the legacy of Skype so far has been one of disruption, and making the communications pie bigger. Maybe not more profitable, but bigger. Whether Skype becomes a money-maker or not, there's no turning back the clock. VoIP is here to stay, and the PC-based flavor that Skype has done so well with has changed the way we communicate. And if they do nothing else, that's enough for me. Rich Tehrani adds his thoughts from earlier today here as well.

The second item is equally encouraging, and was posted today on Skype Journal. On Monday, Skype hit the 12 million online user mark for the first time. It may not sound like much, but it's an awful lot of concurrent VoIP calls going over a single platform - way more than anybody else is doing. If there's a better validator out there about VoIP's ability to scale, let's hear about it.

Skype may have its share of challenges, but they have definitely taken telephony where it's never been before, and of course are trying to do the same now with video. You only hit 100 billion once, and it's a great testament to what Niklas and Janus started only a few years ago, and I'd say it's definitely worthy of recognition. And for what it's worth, I've used Skype more today than I have in ages, so in my very small way, I'm helping the cause.

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1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: matt roberts

I took the 12 Million concurrent users online to mean that they had 12 million users online at one time - not actively engaged in 12 million calls.