Yahoo Messenger: Going after Skype

Earlier this week, I saw a demo by Yahoo Communication Products team leads Brad Garlinghouse and Jeff Bonforte of new phone services that are integrated into Yahoo Messenger–but the meeting was embargoed-that is, till Newsweek broke the embargo (and scooped the bloggers).
The core of the new product announcement was the news that a dialpad has been added to Mesenger, turning it into a phone service able to make domestic or international calls to regular telephones. at a price of 1 cent a minute–but the bells and whistles include the ability for anyone anywhere to purchase a phone number with which to receive calls, free voice mail, news ways to store phone numbers and chose contract methods working off a buddy list, and the hope of integrating the phone capabilities into all sorts of Yahoo verticals.
What impressed me the most about this product announcement–aside from Yahoo’s obvious determination to launch a global product to go after Skype–was the opportunities it offered for integration into Yahoo premium services like Personals and Fantasy Baseball as either product upgrades or new revenue streams. To put it in other words, one of the ways Yahoo can compete with Google, IMHO, isn’t to try to match then in product sets and feature to feature upgrades but to figure out what they can do differently–and do it amazingly well–and integration of tools across media and life management platforms seems like one smart way to go in this regard.

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  1. XenDolev says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. And it seems that it is exactly what Yahoo plans to do. As Om Malik wrote it:
    “Yahoo is also planning to give away avatars and ringtones, which apparently were a big push for Skype in terms of monetizing its audience. Yahoo believes that it has a better profile of users – in US and Western Europe to monetize its efforts, in comparison to Skype, which is pretty strong in Asia and Eastern Europe. This doesn’t necessarily mean a slam dunk for Yahoo either.”

  2. Nadia says:

    With Yahoo integrating its tools it’s playing on a smart but tricky strategy to dominate the market. But what they don’t realise it still comes down to the habit of the consumers, so many tools represent better services yet struggle to push their products through. Yahoo will have to face the change resistance factor when standing against Skype but it has strong grounds with its popularity. One thing regarding the tools for VoIP vary but Springdoo has managed to get down to the core problem and simplify the solution. , have a look yourself and see…
    Springdoo got the solution simplified, eliminating ALL downsides.
    No software’s or attachments to emails, just a link
    Its FREE
    Up to 10 minutes per voice message
    No need for recipient to be members, works for any email
    I recon, Springdoo has the potential to dominate the market with respect to the demand. I’ve looked at a number of competing services and no one is doing anything close to what they are in functionality and usability. But then again is that ever good enough?

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