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Skype: WhatsApp takeover is ‘really exciting’ for the industry

In the wake of Facebook’s proposed $16 billion takeover of WhatsApp, rival messaging service Skype has stated that the deal is “really exciting” for the wider industry.

Despite the market dominating WhatsApp currently boasting more than 450 million active monthly users (considerably more than Skype’s 300 million users), the Microsoft owned service has suggested that its rival’s Facebook backing could help the progression of the mobile messaging sector as a whole.

“We think [the WhatsApp takeover] is really exciting,” Lara Kingwell, Skype’s Product Marketing Manager for Mobile said speaking with TrustedReviews. “For the industry as a whole it is really dynamic and things are moving really fast.”

As well as helping bolster the industry, Kingwell has claimed the WhatsApp takeover will force Skype into improving its own IM options.

She stated: “We think it is a very exciting time and it is putting more importance for us on the fact that we have to get mobile right for Skype.”

Although WhatsApp is spearheading the free mobile messaging movement, with the likes of BBM now available as a cross-platform solution Skype has suggested the sector is in something of a boom period.

Not wanting to be left behind, Kingwell has suggested this is a major growth area for Skype.

“The IM market as a whole is very interesting. You have these players who are focussed on one element of what Skype does – and they are doing it very well.

For us to compete we have to get every aspect right in Skype. The messaging element of that is very important and it is an area where we are seeing a lot of users chop and change between a number of competing apps and it is something we need to get right in order to compete.”

Despite gaining support from some rivals, Facebook’s WhatsApp buyout has been called into question by privacy groups.

“WhatsApp built a user-base based on its commitment not to collect user data for advertising revenue”, a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission last week read.

“Users provided detailed personal information to the company including private text to close friends. Facebook routinely makes use of user information for advertising purposes and has made clear that it intends to incorporate the data of WhatsApp users into the user profiling business model.”

“The proposed acquisition will therefore violate WhatsApp users’ understanding of their exposure to online advertising and constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice, subject to investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.”

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