Feeds

Skype throws off Nimbuzz in ad-revenue smackdown

VoIP monster tells Nimbuzz to Fring off

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Identity aggregation client Nimbuzz has joined Fring in the does-not-Skype pile, as the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) behemoth continues trimming back the parasites.

Nimbuzz tells us it has been asked to remove all Skype and SkypeOut functionality from its mobile and desktop clients, just as Fring was cut off from the Skype network earlier this year. This forces those who want to use Skype's network to use Skype's client software too.

Nimbuzz, and Fring, provide identity-aggregation clients - applications that host all of a user's online identities in a single interface. That's fine for users, but the companies running the networks often finance their operations though embedded advertising, and don't like their eyeballs being nicked. Skype relies on SkypeOut for much of its revenue, so having NimbuzzOut sitting alongside SkypeOut is of no value to Skype at all.

We've been here before: when instant-messaging clients started aggregating each others' networks, a complicated game of cat-and-mouse ensued, with AOL repeatedly changing its protocols to lock out third-party clients and ensure its own advertising remained front and centre.

These days the aggregation is more likely to happen in the cloud - so Nimbuzz hosts all of a single user's various identities on its servers, and the Nimbuzz client uses a single connection. That, combined with the increased complexity of VoIP, makes it much easier for Skype to walk away, and there's little incentive for it to stay.

Not that Skype is adverse to identity aggregation, as the company's recent deal with Facebook demonstrates. But if users are going to access Skype though a different portal, then Skype expects contracts and revenue shares - not rogue clients pushing their own services and advertising on the back of Skype's network.

The only good news for Nimbuzz is that Skype obviously considers the service a threat to its revenues, but whether Nimbuzz has built sufficient market share to survive without Skype is hard to tell. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.