Skype and the Social Web

by on July 19, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Skype Screen logos Perhaps a little known fact outside Skype Headquarters is that the social web is fundamental to its product development strategy.

During the development of Skype 4.0 for Windows, for example, over 50,000 individual pieces of feedback were gathered from users around the world, from blogs, forums and Twitter as well as direct surveys.

Skype’s experience team, which consists of a mixture of designers and researchers, reviewed and analyzed the data they received, and their findings had a direct influence on the way the product grew and matured from beta to final versions.

Functionality and user interface were both greatly influenced by the views of Skype users, but not, of course, without the expert knowledge and experience of Skype’s engineers and designers.

For Skype, however, this wasn’t a one-off; it’s an everyday way of doing business. Peter Parkes, Skype’s blogger-in-chief, works daily with product teams to gather, collate and pass on feedback. And it doesn’t just go to the engineers and designers who build the software itself.

The feedback also helps their customer support team provide better answers to users’ questions, and helps their marketing team produce more compelling copy. Remember, every tweet counts.

Refer back to the video interview I did with Parkes and community manager Dobb.

Skype was a sponsor of the Traveling Geeks UK tour.