If there’s one thing that annoys me about many social networking sites it’s that they’re closed environments. That just doesn’t work on the Internet, think back to AOL who attempted to provide a “closed Internet” with purely AOL content, it didn’t work. Think back to the Instant messenger wars with AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, I don’t know anyone that still uses them all and personally I ony use Skype these days.
There’s a glimmer of hope for one networking site today, and that’s MySpace. They’ve teemed up with Skype to add voice calls to their instant messenger client – MySpaceIM. That means for the first time MySpace users will be able to message their online friends direct from Skype, and while logged into MySpace they’ll be able to use Skype to message friends who don’t have a MySpace account.
It’s a massive about turn in the way social networking sites operate. It still annoys me to receive an email informing me that I have a message on sites like MySpace and Facebook, but the email forces me to log in to read the message. Hopefully more sites will follow suit to open up communications so that they can be accessed freely without having to visit the site itself.
For Skype it’s a winner too, MySpace users will be able to set up a SkypeIn number, voicemail and call forwarding once they’ve connected their MySpace to their Skype account. The MySpace IM with Skype should be available to download by the middle of November.