Skype has announced the beta release of version 2.5. Some of the neat new features added include:
* the ability to pay for Skype’s various fee-based services from within Skype (instead of needing to use a web browser)
* support for sharing of contact lists between groups
* the ability to send SMS messages from within Skype.
* audio call quality analyzer
* support for Skypecasts (which allow conference calls of up to 100 participants)
I’ve also recently noticed the emergence of third party services that are tied to Skype. For example, Lavalife is running a World Chat for singles and Untye is offering a desktop sharing application integrated with Skype.