Report urges Facebook to develop Skype-type service
FACEBOOK COULD increase its revenue by up to $800 million if it was to roll out a voice-over-IP service similar to that offered by Skype, a new report has claimed.
Research from Strand Consulting on Facebook’s effect on the mobile industry said Facebook could succeed where Microsoft and Google could not and could be the “ticking time bomb” under mobile operators’ revenues.
“Facebook has more likelihood than any platform to be the Skype killer,” the report said.
In 2010, Skype recorded revenue of $860 million, with 668 million users. Of these, 18 per cent were active users and 8.8 million were paying customers.
“Skype’s revenue is nothing to sneeze at, especially for an internet company struggling to show a profit on advertising revenue. Facebook is scrambling to please investors and $300 million-$800 million from VoIP would be welcome on the income statement,” Strand said.
“Facebook is close to crossing the 1 billion mark with users and half of them use their mobile phone to connect to the platform. For many users, Facebook is already the place to communicate with friends and family, so VoIP would be a welcome addition.”
The Strand report said implanting VoIP would be the next “logical step” in integrating Facebook into users’ daily life. “Facebook could manage the technical and resource requirements in a matter of months.”
The report also said Facebook was a threat to SMS revenues and it could eventually look at becoming a mobile virtual network operator.
“It could create a communication experience far richer than what is available today,” Strand added. “If Skype is a black-and-white film, then Facebook’s VoIP would be a 3D interactive movie.