Looks like tomorrow's rumored MySpace announcement is, as we heard, related to an instant-messaging deal. According to a press release just sent to Valleywag, the big announcement is a partnership between the News Corp.-owned social network and eBay's Skype, which offers both VOIP and IM. What a pairing, between the undervalued MySpace, likely worth billions more than the $580 million News Corp. paid, and the written-down Skype, now worth billions less than eBay thought it was. The bottom line: Now you can call your MySpace friends right from the "add me" page! The full press release after the jump.
MYSPACE AND SKYPE ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP BRINGING FREE INTERNET VOICE COMMUNICATIONS TO MYSPACE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
Partnership Creates World's Largest Online Voice-Connected Community
Beta Version of 'MySpaceIM with Skype' Announced Today
LOS ANGELES/LUXEMBOURG, October 17, 2007 — MySpace, the world's most popular social network, and Skype, the leading Internet communications company, today announced a partnership to empower the MySpace community with voice communications. With more than 110 million monthly active MySpace users and 220 million Skype(tm) registered users around the world, this partnership connects two of the most popular communications platforms on the Internet to create the world's largest online, voice-connected community. The announcement unveils MySpaceIM with Skype, a new product that integrates MySpace's popular IM client—currently the world's fastest-growing IM platform with more than 25 million installed users—with Skype's free, high-quality voice-calling capability. The partnership will also enable users to link their MySpace profiles and photos or avatars to their accounts on Skype. Both products will be available to users starting in November. Launching in 20 countries where MySpace has localized communities, MySpaceIM with Skype will enable millions of users to place free Skype Internet calls to other MySpace or Skype users. The addition of Skype voice-calling to MySpace's instant messaging feature gives users more ways to easily connect with friends and family around the world, and does not require MySpace users to download any additional Skype software.
"MySpaceIM with Skype is a truly groundbreaking product integration and partnership," said Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of MySpace. "Skype has the leading technology in Internet voice communications and an enormous international user base that we're thrilled to connect with our existing community. Our network has no geographical boundaries — Internet calling is the natural next step for how our members communicate with each other."
Skype is available in 28 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. The ability for Skype users to link their Skype accounts to their MySpace profiles will be available globally, except in Japan, China and Taiwan. In addition to free, high-quality Skype calling, MySpaceIM with Skype will also allow the users of the MySpace network to optionally select Skype's premium fee-based products, including:
* SkypeOut(tm) - To make calls to landlines and cell phones domestically or internationally;
* SkypeIn(tm) - A local phone number to receive calls wherever you are in the world from other people on landlines or cell phones;
* Voicemail - To take voice messages when you're busy or offline; and
* Call forwarding - To redirect incoming Skype calls to a landline or cell phone.
"Both MySpace and Skype have become a part of people's lives by bringing people closer together, no matter where they live in the world. This partnership reiterates that Skype is the platform of choice for Internet communications because we make it simpler and easier for people to place free calls to one another whether they are on Skype or within the MySpace network," said Michael Van Swaaij, interim CEO of Skype.
MySpaceIM with Skype takes advantage of the many personal privacy settings available to users throughout the MySpace network. Users who have a MySpace profile set to "private" can not receive a Skype call from someone who is not on their friends list. Users can also choose to allow only those individuals they have affirmatively added to their Skype personal contact list to call them. Users are empowered to block any MySpaceIM with Skype user at any time, and with the "incoming call window" users can pre-screen incoming callers in order to accept, ignore, or block the call.
Financial terms of the MySpace and Skype deal were not disclosed.