Comments: GTalk and Skype CAN Interop

Aswath: Thanks for taking a shot at the myth that Click-to-Call (C2C) will greatly increase the cost of a click. Four reasons: Consumers don't "C2C" until they have learned more about a product or service by scanning the web page. If they have a complicated issue (reservation, return, etc.) with the vendor that requires a phone call, they will go to the site (with the C2C button) directly without guidance from a search engine. Vendors know this. They don't want ignorant consumers tying up their call centers with uninformed questions that could be more easily answered on their website or by email. If Google thinks they can charge $3.00 per C2C, Miva or Yahoo or MSN will offer $2.00. If Ebay forces its merchants to use its system and only its system then they have a world of hurt coming their way. Sure Google and Ebay have big market power now but it won't help them squeeze big returns from C2C. Finally there are tons on competitors to Skype and Gtalk as well as Ebay and Google Search. Some like Yahoo, MSN, and AOL are big. Ever heard of Helpcaster, Abbeynet, JaJah, Live Person or CallinSearch? These folks have nifty technologies and/or very aggressive pricing that will complicate GOOG/EBAY's plans to be evil.

The real deal for GOOG/EBAY is not higher C2C rates or Skype/Gtalk interoperability but taking share from YellowPages in the mass market. That's going to happen when they find a way to break out of the "early adopter" ghetto. Still looking.

Posted by phoneranger at August 29, 2006 08:20 AM

I concur. Whether or not they CAN charge more for C2C, it seems to me that the intelligent business strategy is to charge the same for C2C as a regular click. When you have market muscle, the right strategy is to use it.

Posted by Alec Saunders at August 29, 2006 10:05 AM