eBay-owned Skype today launched "SkypeWeb":
Skype, the global Internet communications company, today announced SkypeWeb, a Web presence feature that is already integrated into more than 50 Web sites in 20 countries around the world. SkypeWeb allows people to see Skype users' online status and call or chat with them from any Web site as well as Skype people from each site with the simple click of a mouse.
"With just a few simple steps we were able to incorporate SkypeWeb into our AppExchange platform," said Adam Gross, vice president, developer marketing, salesforce.com. "In addition to free Skype voice calls, the SkypeWeb presence feature gives our subscribers the ability to know when their contacts and colleagues are available and online — all directly from within Salesforce."
SkypeWeb integrates Skype seamlessly and into any Web site. With SkypeWeb, Web administrators can easily enable all site visitors to talk for free over the Internet.
Here are the buttons.
There are potentially many things to discuss about this. One is the rapid "mainstreaming" of VoIP. But the thing I want to focus on is the local/PPCall aspect. There’s no PPCall system in place yet (it’s VoIP click-to-call) but a system like SkypeWeb could become an advertising vehicle for local businesses at some point. (ContactAtOnce distributes "presence management" icons/chat windows as an advertising tool today.)
According to the Skype release, "DBA.DK the number one Danish classifieds portal, is using SkypeWeb to show the Skype status of people who have posted classified ads."
This is the kind of functionality that eBay promoted when it bought Skype to enable communication between buyers and sellers. But as the classifieds forum I moderated last night made clear, calls are much more important to local sellers than to e-commerce vendors. Thus the local business implications of click-to-call (and the potential business model layer of PPCall on top of that) are immediate.
Microsoft suggested integration of VoIP as a layer on top of its Windows Live Local product when Live was launched last year in San Francisco.
It could well be that every Web site or landing/profile page associated with every local business will one day have such functionality. It could be free, subscription-based or performance-based (PPCall).