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Skype Buys Qik To Add Real-Time Video Recording, Sharing

qik.jpgThe rumors started flying this morning... and continued for quite some time... and then were finally confirmed by a Skype blog post:
Skype to acquire Qik

Qik has been around since 2006 and first came on my radar a few years back when Robert Scoble was using it heavily (he hasn't recently). At the time, though, I still had an iPhone 3G and wasn't able to use the streaming video (it worked only with the 3GS and now of course the 4) so I didn't do much myself with Qik. I was, however, very impressed with what Steve Garfield was doing with it. In particular, I remember him bringing it to some Obama events in the Boston area in the run-up to the last US Presidential election and streaming them live from his phone.

The power of live streaming from a mobile device struck me then (and still does now) as quite a powerful content creation tool.

The acquisition of Qik by Skype is somewhat curious because of course Skype already has its own video technology, but the key seems to be in this part of their blog post:

... the acquisition of Qik will help to accelerate our leadership in video by adding recording, sharing and storing capabilities to our product portfolio.

Through this acquisition, we’ll also be able to take advantage of the engineering expertise that is behind Qik’s Smart Streaming technology, which optimizes video transmission over wireless networks.

Beyond the simple video calls we can make today, we'll now add the recording and storing capabilities. Plus, Qik's linkage out to many different social networks could help Skype connect out from within its walled garden to the many other social networks out there.

On many levels it's quite a shrewd move and I look forward to seeing what comes of the integration.

For those interested, here's the video of Skype CEO Tony Bates:

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