I have to admit like many people I was dumbfounded when I heard about EBay’s purchase of Skype. Having read EBay’s Skype Presentation
I think it does make a lot of sense. There is definitely a lot of shared areas that might not be entirely obvious to some of us who are snow blind in they payment area.
In particularly they mention that Skype can help reduce friction points in the sales of high value and complex items.
I remember when I sold my Landrover Discovery II (boo hoo how I miss you) 5 years ago on EBay. There was certainly a lot of calling back and forth between the buyer and me.
The real thing that worries me is if they start going conservative on Skype the same way they were with Paypal.
Have a read through Who Killed PayPal? which describes how PayPal has instituted a bunch of strange super conservative rules, that basically piss users off but please regulators.
I knew Max and Peter from PayPal back in the early days and remember their techno-libertarian enthusiasm which I still share today.
Skype is in many ways the PayPal of telecoms. It has a very Libertarian/anarchic approach to everything. I’m not sure it was intended that way or if it just happened as an accident. I really hope EBay leaves Skype to do it this way.
If you have to start confirming who you are before signing up, it would certainly kill off the growth of Skype. Eg. See David’s commentary on Flickr Signup pre and post yahoo .
The good thing is that EBay definitely is a ecommerce company and a a successful one. They are not a conservative telecom company nor a media conglomerate. They don’t need or should feel scared into doing major changes.