Earlier this week, Skype announced that they acquired the free group messaging service company GroupMe, to enhance their communication service. And before the week ends, Skype launches a new app directory that allows users to access third-party apps for consumers and businesses built on Skype’s API.
The Skype Directory is subdivided into seven categories, namely Business, Call Recording for audio and video, Call Recording for audio only, Desktop & Whiteboard Sharing, Faxing, Integrations with popular software and Mobile video communications. Since it has just launched, there are only about 24 apps in the directory, but Skype hopes to add more as developers submit their apps.
Aside from being able to download apps in the directory, users could also rate and comment on the apps that will provide insight from the user’s point-of-view and app developers can make their apps work or perform better.
VodBurner CEO and founder Jeremy Hague told TechCrunch that, “Giving Skype users the ability to rate apps, comment about apps, is totally new to Skype and will really help app developers get their apps out to the massive Skype community…having a directory makes live easier for us.”
Skype has jumped on the social enterprise bandwagon and joined others that have earlier ventured on this path. Evernote has a similar platform, the Trunk, that also showcases and integrates apps for its platform. VMWare’s Horizon App Manager provides users with a structured gateway to third-party apps. Citrix is not far behind with their acquisition of Nokuna, maker of app management platform which is part of their Citrix Startup Accelerator program, and third party app store for its Cius tablet. Salesforce also has appexchange for the same reason, to have a venue where developers can show off their work.
This is really something for the app developers. It’s not that easy to create apps and to have somewhere where their work can be acknowledged and appreciated, and so third party app stores are on the rise. Aside from getting the much needed attention, they could improve on their work with the feedback from users and other developers so it’s a win-win situation for both developers and end-users.