The same day Google jumped into the instant messaging market with Google Talk, voice and IM provider Skype went a step further, opening its platform to anyone who wants to use it.
Skype, a Luxembourg-based provider of phone service and IM over the Internet, said Wednesday that any Web site or online service can integrate its voice and IM platform for applications such as online gaming, e-commerce and community-building.
By opening up its platform, Skype says it will be “creating the largest open instant messaging platform in the world.”
“We think now is a perfect time to make these popular features available to anyone who wants to build community and communications into their Web site or applications,” Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom said in a statement.
Skype has grown quickly over the past two years. More than 50 million people have registered to use its free services and more than 2 million have created accounts for its paid services.
For its part, Google joins a crowded IM marketplace with its launch of Google Talk, which features voice and instant messaging capabilities as well as access to its Gmail e-mail service.
While it primarily has to contend with AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger, Google now will be competing against a host of other Web sites that may pick up Skype’s open IM platform.
Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters