Skype has announced that their feature Group video calling is finally free for everyone. For now, only Windows, Mac and XBox One versions can take advantage of this announcement.
So if you are using Skype on Windows or Mac or Xbox One, you’ll be able to use Skype Group Video Calling feature for free without paying the $9.99 per month for a Skype Premium account. Also the company promised that it will enable free group video calling feature across all platforms in the future.
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. – Official Skype blog
Ultimately, all Skype mobile applications offer free group video calling. This means it may be possible to organize a group video call from a Windows Phone smartphone, Android or iOS (iPhone, iPad ).
With this announcement, Microsoft is now giving direct competition to Google Hangouts. Google hangouts allows you to chat, make VOIP calls and create video conferencing that can accommodate up to 10 people and 15 participants for Google Apps accounts.
Skype did not really have the option of offering free video conferencing. I imagine that many Skype users switched to Google Hangout when it came time to create group video calls. To recall, Skype was acquired by Microsoft in 2011 at a cost of $8.5 billion.