With news apps, social media sites, online discounts and resources, email marketing and paid ads, it’s easy to get lost in what technology we should be using for our businesses. Between what we do know, what we’ve heard of and what’s up and coming, it all sounds pretty good. However, not all technology is good technology. Be wary of technology tools that lock you in without the option of getting out.
Skype. Yeah, you’ve heard of it. Maybe even have an account. Great for cheap calls and video chat. Talk to anyone around the world. But did you know that once you set up a Skype name and profile, you have it forever whether you want it forever or not? Taken straight from their site, they tell you your Skype account is permanent:
“It’s not possible to delete a Skype account or change a Skype Name after it has been created. However, you can remove all the personal information contained in your profile. This will ensure that other people cannot search for you in Skype by using personal information such as your full name, email or phone number (although they will still be able to search for your Skype Name).
The personal information contained in your profile depends on the information you provided when you created or updated your profile. It may include your name, gender, date of birth, phone number, email address, mood message and any profile pictures of yourself you have uploaded.”
Businesses change names. Businesses dissolve. Once you create your Skype name, it’s there for good, whether you change your company’s name or not. You may be able to delete you Skype information, but the presence of the past will be always be there. Why would a company create a technology that would not let its members opt out? Is it a numbers game for them? Think of it from an SEO standpoint: how good does an inactive account look for your business? They may not be able to search for you base on the information provided, but the name they can still find.
Regardless of Skype’s ulterior motive for keeping you on the books, there are other alternatives for calls and video chat. Google. Yes, Google is just about into everything and is everywhere. You can video chat, instant message, get a Google number and tied it to your mobile phone, email and a bunch of other cool features. But, at anytime, you don’t want to have anymore to do with them, the two of you can go your separate ways without your company name lingering behind.