Skype 4.0 Beta: It's all about telemarketing

The acquisition of Skype has been something of an albatross around eBay's neck — what, exactly, does an auction site need voice-over-IP and chat software for? With the new release, it's starting to make a bit more sense. Not as a chat client for early-adopter technology fetishists, but as a telemarketing tool. Here's how!

With video and text chat allowing managers to check in on employees and feed them scripts, as well as cheap international calling and archiving conversations, it can work as a cheap and easy tool for managing remote customer-service centers to close those deals made on eBay and keep the credit card charges flowing into PayPal. In other words, it's about lubricating "transaction friction" by increasing buyer confidence and decreasing credit card charge-backs and complaints. Now if only there was a country with lots of English speakers and really low wages.