There is a good news for you if you happen to be a Skype Premium user paying for their Group Video Calling facility. Recently in a surprising move Skype announced that they are no longer going to ask users to pay for its group video calling facility. Group video calling allows you to catch up with your family, friends, business associates and share any big news or development with up to 10 participants at the same time.
Currently the free video calling service has been rolled out on Apple Mac, Microsoft Windows and Xbox One but Skype has expressed hopes to roll it out further to other platforms as well. Skype launched it’s premium group video calling facility in January 2011 for $4.99 for a day and $8.99 for a month. As per Phillip Snalune, the general manager of consumer product marketing of Skype, group video calling would eventually be integrated with Android, Windows Phone and iOS.
The most important question here right now is why did Skype make it’s GVC service free of cost? The logical reasoning is because it is facing tough competition from likes of Cisco WebEx, Google Hangout. It’s been quite some time since Google started free group video calling through Hangouts. Apart from Google Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Yahoo messenger also present a considerable threat to Skype’s business.
Skype was founded in August 2003 by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström. Back then it started out as a VoIP and instant messaging client and in October 2005 it caught eBay’s attention and was acquired for $2.5 billion in cash and stock. Later eBay realized that it cannot effectively integrate it into it’s online marketplace and offloaded 65% of it’s stake to Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $1.9 billion in 2009. Finally Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in May 2011 and since then it has been integrating it into various products like Lync, Windows Phone, Outlook, Xbox LIVE and Office etc.