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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,620
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Skype today announced that it is making its group video calling feature free for select users. The feature was introduced in 2010 and was made available to Premium users on a Windows desktop, Mac and the Xbox One. Now, group video calling will be accessible for free to anyone on those platforms, with support for additional devices coming at a later date.
Skype is proud that, since our beginning, we've created opportunities for people to communicate freely and easily, no matter where they are; from keeping in touch with remote family members or calling home when traveling to chatting daily with your close circles of friends. While Skype is known for one to one video calling, we know it's also essential to connect with the groups of people who matter most, whether friends, family or colleagues. For the last few years, we've offered group video calling to Premium users on Windows desktop and Mac and more recently Xbox One. Today, we're excited to announce that we're making group video calling free - for all users on these platforms. And, in the future, we'll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms - at no cost.
Group video calling debuted on the Mac platform with Skype 5 in early 2011. Much like Google Hangouts, Skype video calling allows customers to hold a video conference with a group of other Skype users who can talk using the webcams on their devices. The feature was available for free in the beta version of Skype 5 and required a Premium subscription when it officially debuted in the shipping version.

You can download Skype for Mac from Skype's website. It is available for free and requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard and above, a webcam for video calling and a microphone.

Article Link: Skype Makes Group Video Calling Free for Mac, PC, and Xbox One Users
 

Vinamra

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2012
187
1
Melbourne, Australia
Totally happy with facetime. I switched to facetime after microsoft bought skype.
:rolleyes: :apple:

The problem is, FaceTime still doesn't allow group video calling. Moreover, unlike Skype, FaceTime is not available across various platforms.

However, I was never satisfied with the call quality on Skype. Google Hangouts FTW!
 

polaris20

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2008
2,333
441
Too little, too late. FaceTime works great for one-offs from my phone, and Hangouts works extremely well from an iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows.....whatever. My group routinely runs Hangouts all day long when we work from home due to office closures. It's amazing.

The last time I had to use Skype (few months ago) it was far more choppy and lower quality than either of Apple's or Google's solutions.
 

Jeaz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2009
552
797
Sweden
The problem for me, with Google Hangout, is that it can't handle the most trivial thing properly - voice calls.

Sure, video is nice, but not what you are looking for always, and at this, Skype really leaves Hangouts in the dark.
 

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2009
1,253
724
10.0.1.3
I would be happy if they could just fix the iPhone app.

I had gotten used to not getting notifications for group chats, but with the last update I don't notifications at all until about 30 minutes after the message was sent to me. And to other users I keep going offline and online. Pretty lame :/
 

linuxcooldude

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2010
2,480
7,232
About time - Google Hangouts has had this for months if not years.

Its because prior to being bought by Microsoft it had a different business model. Microsoft & Google ( Google+ Hangouts ) VOIP/Video was not their primary money maker. Prior to that its owners had to figure a way out how to make money off of Skype and Group video chat was one of them.
 

man3ster

macrumors member
May 12, 2009
87
225
Nice

I don't know about you guys, but I got friends on multiple platforms. Having free group calling is wonderful.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,846
597
Los Angeles
Not that it's exactly on topic... but I wish Facetime and iMessage was available cross platform. I'd love to be able to iMessage my Android toting friends... or have iMessage on my work Windows computer so I don't have to constantly have to pull my phone out to message people back while I'm at work.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 604
Apr 10, 2008
6,656
4,006
The problem for me, with Google Hangout, is that it can't handle the most trivial thing properly - voice calls.

Sure, video is nice, but not what you are looking for always, and at this, Skype really leaves Hangouts in the dark.

They are working on integrating Google Voice in to hangouts this should make it a nice all around app.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,553
I would be happy if they could just fix the iPhone app.

I had gotten used to not getting notifications for group chats, but with the last update I don't notifications at all until about 30 minutes after the message was sent to me. And to other users I keep going offline and online. Pretty lame :/

Yeah, notifications have been very spotty for
me for a while. Also I've has this annoying bug forever where if I go to text chat while doing video, the video will become inverted. Super annoying.
 

arbitter

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2010
109
1
Belgium
I use hangouts, never had any issues so far, pretty smooth video calling even in China where streaming from Spotify didn't work.

Also handy is possibility to video call on the computer without a program, only using the browser. And cross platform of course.

I like the facetime interface as well, but not owning any iOS devices and many of my friends have android devices, the limitation is really too great.
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
So you only video chat with one person at a time, and only if they have an Apple device?

Actually, my answer is yes. I am probably in the minority, but with less than 5% of my contacts using something other than idevices, this is not an issue for me. And because I use this for personal use, I never speak to multiple people at the same time. I could totally see group chat as being useful and it really would be awesome if it worked across other devices. It just so happen that neither is an issue for me and I therefore use Apples solution exclusively. Also, as others have commented, the apple solution really works better, so unless I need one of those other features, there is no reason to use anything else.
 
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Buduls

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2011
27
4
Still horrible and unusable UI compared to Skype 2.8.. I’ll refuse to update until it is still working
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,329
5,475
This is awesome! Dont know how they make money off this though.

It probably helps sell Windows Phones, and Xboxs, or at least that's the hope. If I'm between the Xbox One and PS4, this might push me to the One. (Although I have no idea why anyone would ever buy the One. Personally, I'm a Nintendo person and wouldn't ever buy a console that lacked Nintendo titles, but going by the available specs, games, and prices, there's no competition: PS4 beats Xbox One in every way imaginable).
 

richwoodrocket

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2014
2,132
112
Buffalo, NY
It probably helps sell Windows Phones, and Xboxs, or at least that's the hope. If I'm between the Xbox One and PS4, this might push me to the One. (Although I have no idea why anyone would ever buy the One. Personally, I'm a Nintendo person and wouldn't ever buy a console that lacked Nintendo titles, but going by the available specs, games, and prices, there's no competition: PS4 beats Xbox One in every way imaginable).


I'm a Nintendo person too. Microsoft or don't won't be getting my money anytime soon.
I know there are ads in skype, but I would imagine that hardly pays for the cost to run it.
 
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