Skype today announced a new beta version of their Windows offering (v18.104.22.168 beta). It’s main new feature is Skype Prime (beta) – something that will appeal to many entrepreneurial bloggers.
“In short, it enables paid Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls. You can charge other people for calling you either a one-off fee or by the minute. Conversely, if you are the caller, you can call experts who charge for their services, and you can then pay the fee and access the expertise that the other call party provides.”
That’s how Skype describes it and I’m sure many of you can see applications that you could use it with.
The service has been a long time coming and for those of us on Macs the wait continues. It is in direct competition to Ether – a similar service for web consultants – but with the millions of users of skype already on the system I think the potential is quite massive.
At this stage both the caller and receiver need to be on the new version of Skype for Skype Prime to work. Once the connection is established between callers the paid process can be started and charging (either per minute or as a fixed rate per call) can begin. The charge is deducted from the caller’s Skype credit that is footing the bill.
My initial feeling is that 30% is reasonably high considering if you have any clues you could simply plan a call after someone’s put money in your PayPal account anyway – however I’m sure they’ll continue to add features to this service and for ease of use many will pay the premium.
Looks like a product with real potential for bloggers wanting to offer consulting in their area of expertise – for more information on Skype Prime see their FAQ page.
For those of you who give it a go – I’d love to hear about your experience!