eBay may be phenomenally successful but when it spends $2.6bn buying the world’s most popular VoIP software company and then does nothing with it for nearly a year that’s just cocky. Finally however the inevitable integration is here.
The first interoperable feature which will become available from 19 June is a ‘Skype Me’ button that will be added to the monolithic auction site alongside the established ‘Ask a seller a question’ option. The communication method will not be available for all listings (who wants a dozen calls an hour about a 99p sock posting?) but it will be target more heavyweight categories such as automobiles and real estate. Skype Me is already a feature available for websites (see above).
Also alongside this rather damp squib are two immediately available yet rather pointless additions to eBay: eBay Blogs and eBay Wiki (What I Know Is). Quite why the company thinks we need a blog section crowbarred into an auction site or a lecturing forum for that matter only it knows. Then again, both features are a part of its ‘Community’ section which I would wager less than one in every 100 of you actually use on a regular basis.
So there we have it, $2.6bn later and the master plan is unveiled: VoIP calls to sellers of expensive items. Genius, erm… what wonderfully wasteful genius. It inspires me to go and spend $200m on the Hope Diamond, after all I need a new paper weight.