eBay is to add a "Skype Me" button to certain eBay auctions to allow users to contact prospective buyters to contact them directly during the auction.
The new feature, which will be available in the US is part of the company attempt to make greater use of its acquisition of Skype.
The Skype Me function will allow sellers in certain categories of listings, like GPS devices, jewelry, and real estate prospective buyers to contact them directly using Skype.
The buttom will be added to listings starting 19 June.
Clicking on the on-screen button will start a real-time text or voice chat or both, to ask for more information.
In order to take advantage of the service, prospective buyers will have to sign up for Skype, download the software and buy headsets.
In a report by the AP, a spokesperson for eBay said that this is one of the first ways that eBay is trying out new services based on its recent acquisitions. Other ideas to improve user experiences include one that would allow PayPal account holders to directly send money to any of their Skype buddies.
Analysts view the new button as an attempt by eBay to justify the expensive buyout of Skype, which some thought folly at the time.
Eventually, eBay hopes to roll out a "click to call" service, whereby sellers would pay whenever a potential buyer clicks on a Skype button incorporated into online advertisements.
Time will tell how happy sellers will be to let potential buyers have instant access to them over a phone.