Skype, the chat, voice and video calling platform has plans to extend its reach to consumer electronics and mobile devices and the first step will be to move its offices in Stanford, next to Facebook's headquarters. The move will take place by October. Hires should follow.
Silicon Valley Software Developers In Demand
After China's Baidu saying it is coming all the way to the Silicon Valley to hire software developers, it's Skype's turn to announce that it will be expanding its software engineering team as part of its plans to extend its reach to consumer electronics and mobile devices. In an interview with GigaOm, Skype CEO Josh Silverman said "There is a huge demand for us to build Skype into other people's experiences... We made a transition from being a pure voice company two years ago."
Expanding Its Base
As a matter of fact, business development as well as regional marketing and Skype for Business will be led from the company's new offices on in Palo Alto, where Facebook is also headquartered. In a company blog post Skype Expands In Silicon Valley, Silverman said the current 80 employees already working for Skype in San Jose and Brisbane would relocate to the new Stanford Research Park offices "as early as October 2010." Skype's other engineering teams are located in Estonia, Prague and Stockholm.
Jobs For Grabs
With a total surface of 90 000 square foot, Skype should be able to accommodate around 250-300 people. That means there are a lot of jobs to be created there. This is what Silverman stated on his blog post: "we hope to attract some of the best and brightest talent in the Valley, especially engineers who are skilled at building ultra-scalable infrastructure." For the moment, most of the available postings are in Brisbane but you may have a look at their careers page regularly to try your luck.
New Horizons, New Markets
The office move and new hires will give Skype critical mass to develop new segments. As GigaOm reminds us, one third of Skype calls are video calls - a clear signal for growth. The company has already started offering high-definition TV-embedded Skype services in January through partnerships with television set makers LG and Panasonic.
Extending on that embedding facility, it also has launched an SDK, called "skypekit" to facilitate the embedding of Skype.
The company's willingness to grab market shares via embedding on consumer electronics and mobile devices is consistent with its reported intention of integrating ads to its platform, in a move to generate new revenue streams and keep its Skype-to-Skype services free and Skype-to-phones offer extremely competitive. The more portability it will have, the more eyeball attention it will grab, and logically... the easier it will be to entice marketers to advertise on Skype. According to Venture Beat, the company's new ownership "likely played a role in the new direction and location too." Skype was purchased from eBay last year by a group of investors: private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.
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