Skype's Share Button and its March to Social Ubiquity
Skype is rolling out its own share button, joining Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other media-sharing services fighting for your loyalty. The button – one of the small, linked logos in the corner of a news article, blog, or other online content – will let Skype users easily send interesting links to their Skype contacts.
MSN.com, Skype’s partner for the first phase of this button, has already implemented the Skype Share button. MSN and Skype are both Microsoft properties, explaining their easy and hiccup-free collaboration. It remains to be seen when the Skype share button will be available on other sites, and we still don’t know which sites, exactly, will carry Skype’s button.
Share buttons are both everywhere and somewhat invisible. Pinterest, tumblr, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn all have share buttons on popular sites, although they’re usually hidden under an umbrella tab. The most popular share buttons are, as you’d expect, Facebook or Twitter. But unlike Twitter or Facebook, the Skype share button won’t post an article in a public space, visible to all a user’s contacts. Rather, users will share content with specific friends and contacts.
The share button is a small step in Skype’s larger march toward social messaging ubiquity. The video chat giant is trying to position itself as users’ first choice when they want to communicate online. It recently rolled out a very cool new feature: URL video connecting for people who want to video chat, but don’t have Skype accounts. Now, if a Skype-using friend wants to video chat someone without a Skype subscription, Skype will generate a URL that the non-Skyper can use to open a video chat window – this process is best known as WebRTC.
Skype also frequently introduces new video filters, emojis, and other kitsch to keep video chatters coming back. They recently unveiled a host of Halloween emojis, and will surely prepare a new arsenal for the holidays.
Will Skype replace email, Facebook, or Twitter as users’ preferred content-sharing medium? It’s too early to tell. But with all of Skype’s recent transitions to a more fun, simpler, and egalitarian service, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi