While rumors have been flying about Facebook and Google's competition to buy Skype, Microsoft has purchased the online video conferencing platform. Search marketers should consider that this might bring Bing closer to Skype's global users.
Microsoft announced the acquisition this morning,saying it has paid $8.5 billion in cash to buy Skype. It says this purchase will bring “significant new business and revenue opportunities.” For marketers, this may mean more Bing advertising options that will appeal to Skype users.
The number of Skype users is certainly not lost on Microsoft. The company points to the video conferencing system's “170 million connected users,” and it explains that Skype will now support Microsoft's Windows Phone and other Microsoft communities (as well as non-Microsoft platforms currently compatible with Skype).
As Skype and Microsoft products become intertwined, search marketers will want to see how this connection impacts Bing adoption. If the loyal community of Skype users increases Bing use, optimizing content for Microsoft search will become even more important.
This is just the latest partnership for Microsoft that may help Bing become more mainstream. As Brafton reported, last week the company announced a deal with RIM that positions Bing as the default search engine and part of the OS for BlackBerry devices.