With the announcement of the Skype IPO a few weeks ago we are starting to see the devolution of any previous attempts at Skype – eBay synergy. Yesterday Phil reported on eBay’s removal of Skype voice and chat buttons in eBay listings effective June 10, 2009.
My major introduction to Skype personnel and the Skype ecosystem was the 2006 eBay Developer’s Conference at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas in June, 2006. One to two hundred developers interested in exploring how they could work with the Skype Software Partner program showed up. Some common themes developed in terms of developer needs. But other than to have a common meeting location, there was really no cross-pollination of eBay developers (who tended to focus on building eBay reseller websites) and Skype developers (who were deep into programming “Extras” for Skype, hopefully to establish a partner business for themselves).
This week I received a “snail mail” postcard inviting “Alumni” to attend this year’s eBay – PayPal Developers Conference – at eBay’s headquarters in San Jose. No mention of Skype anywhere. And no enticing Las Vegas (2006) or Boston Convention Center (2007)location but rather at the eBay home office location in San Jose. At the same time eBay Live 2009, eBay’s annual event for eBay resellers that normally ran immediately after eBay DevCon, was cancelled about a year ago.
Not simply a sign of eBay weaning off Skype but also a sign of the challenges eBay Markets is currently experiencing as they work their way through the current economic conditions and the challengers to their domination as the Internet’s leading e-commerce site. It’s all about rebuilding the eBay franchise. (Did anyone notice that eBay’s quarterly reporting in April led off with PayPal – with its ongoing success – and eBay being second?)
With Skype’s restructuring and the appointment of Jason Fischl as Director of Developer Relations, can we expect a dedicated Skype Developer Partners event to be forthcoming?