Skype’s Platform Open For New Apps

Skype, which is about to celebrate its second birthday on Monday, apparently
feels it’s better to give than receive.

The Internet telephony player today announced that it will allow programmers
to integrate the Skype instant message platform and presence application
program interfaces into their Web sites and applications.

It’s the latest move by Skype to open up APIs and make its service more
accessible. Earlier this year, it opened the API for its buddy list, which
led some innovative applications piggybacking on Skype code.

One is iSkoot, a new service
that allows users to connect their regular cell phones to Skype’s service
and buddy lists.

The Cambridge, Mass., startup is working on versions of the product for
other platforms, but iSkoot CEO Jacob Guedalia said the company started with
Skype because it is a “really important ecosystem leader and a powerful

The company also held its first API Developer Competition to encourage
innovation around the Skype platform. More information about Skype’s
developer network can be found here.

Skype, which has more than 50 million registered users, is constantly
looking for ways to enhance its service and its reach. For example, it plans
to begin testing a
video calling service later this year.

Because of its success in amassing users, the privately held company is
often mentioned as a takeover target. The latest alleged suitor was News
Corp., which reportedly offered $3 billion for Luxemburg-based Skype. A
Skype spokeswoman downplayed
acquisition talk however.

The news of the new APIs comes on the same day as another Internet giant made its own move
in the communications space. Search leader Google
announced a VoIP-enabled IM client. The new service marks another step on
Google’s evolution from search service to Internet gateway.

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