Yahoo outsourcing Messenger calls to startup Jajah

April 29, 2008

Yahoo outsourcing Messenger calls to startup Jajah Yahoo Inc. has decided to outsource calls made via its Messenger service to popular Internet telephony startup Jajah.

AP reported that Yahoo Messenger has hired Jajah to connect the calls, also handling other aspects like billing and customer support. The exact terms have not been announced at press time.

Jajah generated quite a lot of buzz when it came out, drawing comparisons to rival Skype, with its model of offering cheaper calls via the Internet.  It currently provides services for the dating site eHarmony and has attracted investment from Deutsche Telekom AG and Intel Capital (lead investor). Founded in Austria in 2005, the company is now based in Mountain View, California and has customers numbering 10 million. 

How will Yahoo benefit from such a move? With 97 million users, Yahoo’s probably decided to save itself the headache of supporting its premium Phone In and Phone Out features. Yahoo’s suffered enough by stretching itself too far in its bid to diversify and this move might be an indication of its preparation to protect itself from a hostile takeover from Microsoft.

Users will see no change to the service, said Jajah Chief Executive Trevor Healy. What they might see, though is the Jajah brand appearing in some places, along with Yahoo’s.

“It’s the beginning of a very good strategic shift for us,” Healy said.

Jajah’s current model of service is attractive to those frustrated with Skype – instead of installing software, all calls are made via the Web. They even have a free service which they launched in June 2006, targeting specified geographic areas.

Registered Jajah users in the USA, Canada, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand can call each other for free, whether on landline or mobile. Jajah users on landlines elsewhere also benefit from the service, including residents of most European countries, Argentina, Australia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico City, New Zealand, Venezuela and Zambia.

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2 Responses to “Yahoo outsourcing Messenger calls to startup Jajah”

  1. virtual assistant:

    This is good idea for Yahoo Messenger. It can help them to produce lot of users and they give them more benefits.

  2. Patty Elliott:

    Why can’t I phone out or phone in? I notice on Yahoo billing phone in is inactive, WHY? And I have a balance of $10.48 phone out.

    Hope to hear from you soon…….

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