iSkoot, a provider of mobile VoIP solutions, announced its acquisition of Social.IM, a social network IM client. This step positions iSkoot to grow beyond mobile VoIP and "create a compelling and valuable consumer solution" in the days of growing demand for integrations between mobile industry and online social media.
iSkoot and Skype
iSkoot is most known for its mobile extension for Skype, which offers a comprehensive Skype user experience from a mobile phone. Skype and iSkoot are friendly. After powering Skypephone and Skype, iSkoot got a five-year agreement with Skype. As part of the deal, iSkoot received exclusive rights to offer mobile Skype though carrier partners in eight countries.
iSkoot’s Skype application, however, is not very different from Skype’s own mobile version, with the only exception of offering more worldwide coverage. Now, iSkoot adds mobile IM integration with the company's upcoming suite of web to mobile push services. Again, not something that's never been done before.
iScoot and Social.IM
Mark Jacobstein, CEO of iSkoot, is optimistic about the future: "Acquiring Social.IM is a key step in our path to introduce later this year a groundbreaking new communications platform that will revolutionize the mobile landscape."
Social.IM built a customizable desktop application that adds real-time communication and desktop notifications for social networks, online communities and web sites. The technology includes a desktop IM client and the capability to deliver new message alerts, information and content to social networks or online community members.
Social.IM also released a developer API that allows for social network application developers to reach their users on desktop.
The Right Time for Social Media Mobile Apps
iSkoot’s acquisition of Social.IM comes at the right time, as the mobile social media industry is going through its growing pains, and demand for mobile social media integrations is high. What is not clear at this moment is the ability for iSkoot to come up with a product that is high-quality and innovative enough to truly engage the consumers.
With some of iSkoot’s development being outsourced to Israel, it shouldn’t be too expensive to build something that already exists in one form or another. Unless, there’s a big surprise coming our way -- like iSkoot’s merger with Fring, a company that offers tools for mobile access to AIM, Google Talk, Skype, ICQ, Twitter and MSN Messenger.