Voice and audio chat company Skype announced plans to expand its presence in Silicon Valley today. Josh Silverman, CEO, posted to the Skype blog regarding their newly-signed lease at an office space in the Stanford Research Park i
n Palo Alto, CA. With strongholds in several European countries, and offices in San Jose and Brisbane, Silverman hopes to attract more Valley talent, particularly engineers. The California offices are meant to "also become the home of regional marketing, business development, and the Skype for Business team."
The company wants to expand its Silicon Valley software engineering base mostly to secure more presence in consumer electronics and mobile devices. Silverman explained to GigaOm today, "There is a huge demand for us to build Skype into other people’s experiences," Silverman said. "We made a transition from being a pure voice company two years ago."
This annoucement comes in the wake of Skype's release of a software developer's kit, SkypeKit, that transforms the voice and video application into a toolset. The Skype developer's blog will allow voice or video calling, as well as instant messaging to be embedded into operating systems, interfaces or other applications. The blog refers to this as being "plugged into Skype."
A GigaOm Pro analysis links the release of SkypeKit to a Netflix-like innovation plan. By enabling wider integration of not only its application but its services across hardware and software, the Skype platform can push its already popular communication suite to "a new billion device market." Since the company "already holds a commanding lead for computer-based voice and video communications... SkypeKit may strengthen the company’s hold on this market and make it even more difficult for competitors to find a toehold."
Between a more prominent presence in Silicon Valley and a shiny new toolkit, communications will definitely be looking at what is next for Skype's platform.