MySpace adds VOIP to popular social networking site

Agreement with Skype lets MySpace users make free Internet calls to each other

MySpace and Skype Wednesday announced plans to jointly bring free Internet voice communications to the social networking site

The pair rolled out MySpaceIM With Skype, a new product that integrates MySpace's instant messaging client -- which now has 25 million registered users -- with Skype's free telephone service, allowing MySpace clients to make free internet calls to MySpace or Skype users.

Under the partnership, users also will be able to link their MySpace profiles, avatars and photos to their accounts on Skype.

The new capabilities will be available in November. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adding Skype voice services to MySpace's IM system will not require MySpace users to download additional Skype software.

In a statement, Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of MySpace, called the MySpaceIM With Skype offering a "truly groundbreaking product integration and partnership."

"Our network has no geographical boundaries - Internet calling is the natural next step for how our members communicate with each other," he said.

Skype users globally will be able to link their Skype accounts to MySpace profiles in every country but Japan, China and Taiwan, the companies said.

MySpace officials also noted that the agreement allows MySpace users to access Skype's fee-based products, including voice mail services and the ability to use landlines and cell phones.

The new product will take advantage of the personal privacy settings available in MySpace, which limits calls to to friends lists. Users also can opt to allow only those people they have added to their Skype personal contact list to call them.

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld

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