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Skype gets a new friend in MySpace

eBay owned internet telephony player Skype has joined forces with social networking phenomenon MySpace, to integrate VoIP technology into the popular site.

From the end of November, MySpacers will be able to place calls to their friends both in the MySpace and Skype communities through a widget available on the site. Users will not have to download and install the Skype software if they do not already have it.

SkypeOut functionality will also be included, allowing users to place calls to landlines and mobile phones.

MySpace has around 110 million users, while Skype has 220 million.

Ovum analyst John Delaney, said, “It seems pretty clear what MySpace gets out of this deal: a competitive differentiator. MySpace is big, with 110m users, and still fast-growing; but it has been feeling heat from the more rapid audience growth seen by rival Facebook in recent months. Facebook’s surge has largely been attributed to its introduction of Widgets, whereby developers can make applications available free of charge for Facebook users to incorporate into their profile pages.”

So incorporating Skype into its profile pages could give MySpace a way of regaining the initiative.

“It’s less clear to us what Skype gets out of this,” said Delaney, who has heard that Skype will not be getting a share of MySpace’s advertising revenues. “It’s likely, then, that the main benefit that Skype will get from this deal is not money, but brand exposure. Most of MySpace’s users are in the US, and Skype’s brand has not been as strong in that market as it is in Europe.”

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