In an effort to get more people using Skype Credits and paid services on the site, today the Microsoft-owned Internet calling giant Skype is expanding its Gift Cards: as of today these are now live to buy online in 44 countries.
The company is also gearing up to expand its push in physical stores. Physical gift cards are available for purchase with retailers in the U.S., UK and Mexico, and a Skype person tells me more countries will be announced soon. Users in the U.S. also have an option to buy gift cards via Facebook.
The move to begin offering Skype Gift Cards in physical stores was first announced earlier this month. In the U.S. retailers include Target, OfficeMax and Microsoft retail stores. In the UK retailers include Walmart-owned Asda, Currys, PC World, WHSmiths and the supermarket Sainsburys. Pricing for cards begins at $10.
Skype Gift Cards essentially work like gifting Skype Credit to another person: the funds can be used to make calls to fixed and mobile numbers and to use the company’s international WiFi service.
There is another perk for users of Skype Credits: it looks like by partaking in this, you are exempt from advertising, an area where Skype is increasingly dipping its toes into — last week kicking off a new push in social advertising.
Skype allows you to make calls to other Skype users for free, but calls aren’t the only thing you can do with Skype. Its extensive features included IM chat with contacts, group chats, video calling, conference calling, file transfers and money transfers via PayPal. Skype lets you import your Outlook contacts into your Skype contact list and once their imported you can easily organize them into handy groups. A nice feature for people who don’t want to miss calls...