Skype acquires Qik

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Skype acquires Qik

Some interesting news from Skype - they have acquired Qik, a provider of mobile video software and services that enable individuals to capture and, instantly share mobile video. Qik has 60 employees, and is headquartered in Redwood City, California and has an office in Moscow, Russia. The transaction is expected to close in January 2011. Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed. I'm not sure I exactly see the synergy here since Skype already supports mobile video. Although, it doesn't support "sharing" your video stream with the world. Thus, I suppose Skype is looking to be able to broadcast a Skype videoconference with hundreds of people. Qik certainly brings large-scale broadcasting to the table. Come to think of it, it's kind of a fascinating acquisition. Skype was founded on a strict peer-to-peer principle and now they've acquired Qik, a web-based service that relies on centralized web and media streaming servers. Kind of goes against their core principles.

Qik was founded in 2006 and offers the ability to capture and share video with anyone across mobile devices, the web, and desktop platforms. Videos can be shared in real time or stored so moments can be viewed later, allowing for video messaging, sharing and archiving. The Qik service is available on over 200 mobile phones across the Android, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, and comes pre-loaded on a wide variety of mobile handsets through partnerships with leading handset manufacturers and carriers.

According to the news, "Both Skype and Qik have a common purpose of enriching communications and sharing with video, across any device. The acquisition of Qik helps accelerate Skype’s leadership in video by adding recording, sharing and storing capabilities to Skype’s product portfolio. Through this acquisition, Skype will also be able to leverage the engineering expertise that is behind Qik’s Smart Streaming™ technology, which optimizes video transmission over wireless networks."

“The Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners and millions of end users across a range of devices,” said Tony Bates, Skype’s Chief Executive Officer. "Skype’s software enables an estimated 25 percent of the world’s international long distance voice calling minutes, and approximately 40 percent of those Skype-to-Skype calls are happening over video. Qik’s deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype.”

Together, Skype and Qik will focus on providing a richer, more integrated experience that will allow people globally to share experiences in real-time video across different platforms, as well as, store those moments so they can be viewed anytime later.

"Qik has worked very hard to solve complex problems that allow millions of people everyday to take advantage of sharing their lives with those people who are most important to them,” said Vijay Tella, Chief Executive Officer of Qik. “Joining Skype allows Qik’s team to unite with Skype’s talented team to develop new and innovative products for our customers and partners."

More here.



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