Skype makes a social networking scene

by admin May 3, 2006 at 12:44 pm

Casting its net…

VoIP giant Skype is courting the booming social networking scene with the preview of a new free service to coincide with the release of Skype 2.5 Beta on Wednesday.

SkypeCasts are being touted as “live, chaired conversations allowing groups of up to 100 people from anywhere in the world to talk to one another”. There is no release date yet but a beta is “imminent”, the company said on Wednesday morning.

Alistair Shrimpton, UK manager for Skype, said he expected users of sites such as LiveJournal and MySpace to “embrace this SkypeCast technology as an extra layer of discussion and communication”.

He told sister site ZDNet UK: “It’s really taking the popularity for written exchange over the internet and giving them the opportunity to have that discussion with audio, and live.”

A key feature of SkypeCasts will be they are convened by a user who then moderates the discussion, muting or unmuting, approving or ejecting guests at will. Up to 100 users could be allowed to speak at once, or the host could allow one speaker at a time by acknowledging their request and passing them a “virtual microphone”.

SkypeCasts will be publicised on a section of the Skype website, so it is hoped that upcoming discussions will be linked to and promoted by various blogs and interested parties.

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