Not content to be merely the instigators of Skype, inventors Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis’ (who sold it to eBay for $2.6 billion in 2005) latest venture is Joost, a free service for TV viewing on the Internet. Like Skype, it involves downloading free software and browsing for channels and clips. The service will be ad-supported, but less frequently and briefer than on regular TV.
Already faced with such competition such as YouTube and BitTorrent, as well as DVR Tivo and re-router Slingbox, Friis claims it is the logical successor to both Skype and Kazaa (which he also co-created.) Currently in a limited beta test, plans are being made to incorporate its Luxembourg-based TVP Holdings in New York, London, and the Netherlands under the Joost name.
Google Inc. and eBay Inc. announced today that they have reached an agreement to benefit users, merchants, and advertisers over our entire planet. Google will begin to place ads on eBay and will become the exclusive provider of text ads outside of the US.
They will also launch “click-to-call” advertising, a feature that makes it easier for businesses to connect with customers. As of today, “click-to-call” works this way: you provide your phone number, Google calls you, and connects you with the company. In the near future, Google and eBay will use their VoIP clients (Google Talk and Skype) for click-to-call. They will begin to test the two components at the beginning of next year for several months.
Meg Whitman, eBay Inc. President and CEO, claims, “By combining the power of eBay in e-commerce and Skype in communications with Google’s leadership in search and advertising, we can increase the usefulness of the Internet for shoppers, merchants and advertisers around the world.” Okay, but couldn’t you just become “Googlebay” and spend a smidge of the profits on feeding the planet?
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