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Skype = Speech = Trust = New Markets

Link: FT.com / Home UK – What will Ebay do with Skype?.

“Skype could expand our global footprint,” said Meg Whitman, Ebay chief executive, adding that emerging markets, such as India, China and Russia, trade was carried out with “significantly lower levels of trust than we’ve seen” and had a bargaining style that was more suited to voice communication.

I find this interesting.  Ebay sees the levels of trust in text based, asynchronous digital communication – OK, email! – as taking time to develop in the newer markets.  Speech based comms like Skype potentially offers a way to circumvent this and create trust amongst buyers and sellers.  If you’re dealing in the kind of money and the kind of email volumes [5million a day] that Ebay is then you can see this is a major issue.  $4.1 billion dollars is certainly a lot to pay for  a company which is losing money on the assumption that VOIP can engender trust [though there are ways to generate further income such as click per call advertising].  While speech = trust as a comms model  seems to me to be common-sense and certainly anecodotally it seems to resonate with experiences I;m aware of, I haven’t seen any reliable research into this yet.  Have you? Please let me know if you have.  Research Councils must be desperate to dish out the dosh into VOIP…