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Skype: ‘It’s critical that we get mobile right’

Luke Johnson

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Skype
Skype targets mobile improvements

With the likes of WhatsApp and BBM currently dominating the smartphone messaging service, longstanding communications giant Skype has stated that it is ‘critical’ the company gets mobile right.

As traditional Skype users ditch their desktop foundations in favour of smartphone and tablet devices, the communications platform is being forced to change with the times, facing off against renewed competition in the app-based messaging space.

For Skype to succeed in the future, it’s critical that we get mobile right,” Lara Kingwell, Skype’s Product Marketing Manager for Mobile said speaking with TrustedReviews.

Looking at Skype’s changing tides she stated: “When Skype was originally developed, it was created with the idea that people would be on desktop computers, plugged into the internet all the time and plugged into a power socket.

“Now, as the world has changed dramatically in the 10 years since launch, more and more people are having their first computing experience via a mobile phone.

“We have spent the last year or so listening to user feedback on what they think of our mobile experience, and what they want us to change to make it better.”

Despite already offering Skype applications for all major mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone and BB10, Kingwell has suggested that due to the sector’s continued growth the company will focus more effort and resources in mobile moving forward.

“Skype has 300 million connected users who use 2 billion calling minutes per day,” she told us.

“When you think of the focus of people shifting onto mobile platforms, this is why we have got to get mobile right because it is a big amount of usage that we’re seeing and it’s a changing shift we’re seeing away from desktop.”

One area of Skype’s mobile service that Kingwell has highlighted as being in need of dramatic improvement, is the service’s Instant Messaging options.

“For us to compete we have to get every aspect right in Skype. The messaging element of that is very important and it is an area where we are seeing a lot of users chop and change between a number of competing apps and it is something we need to get right in order to compete.”

She added: “The IM market as a whole is very interesting. You have these players who are focussed on one element of what Skype does – and they are doing it very well – whereas at Skype, our value is that we are one app that does everything from messaging all the way through to video calling.”

Can’t decide what handset to use Skype on? Check out our best smartphones 2014 feature for a helpful guide.

ElectricSheep

March 10, 2014, 9:53 pm

I used to like using Skype until I stumbled upon Viber about a year ago. Maybe it's just my experience but, I've found skype to be pretty lacklustre and unreliable compared to Viber's experience...but now I've said that Viber will probably fall apart on me.

Lucius Fox

March 11, 2014, 8:49 am

Agreed - I also rarely use Skype now since discovering Viber (which I also favour over What'sApp). I find the continued need to sign-in with Skype frustrating when you want to make calls (first world problems I know), which means I use it far less than before.

MattMe

March 11, 2014, 9:12 am

I always have Skype running on my laptop, and use it for everything from IM to video calling (alongside the corporate version, Lync).

I guess I'm oldskool, but on my mobile I only call or text people with any frequency so make do with that. I've used Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Kik and Facebook messenger but for me it's just not practical as not everyone I know uses the same application, and so I avoid them completely now.

toboev

March 11, 2014, 10:41 am

What happened to regular VoIP? I use it by default at home as my 'fixed landline'. I did try using Fring on the mobile a while ago but it was very flaky. For me a decent VoIP mobile solution would be ideal. Just one phone number for landline and/or mobile, full portability, and universal application (no issue about 'are you on Skype or Viber' etc). I'd have thought the major VoIP service providers would push out an app, but maybe I missed something?

Person chap

March 11, 2014, 4:48 pm

Skype is firmly stuck back in 2003. Unfortunely it still leads the way at quality video calls. I say unfortunately because it has serious reliability issues. On a new PC, contacts appear... sometimes. In internet cafes, your skype name is forever stored for everyone else to see. And one thing no one has bothered to notice skype doesn't have genuine offline messaging! Messages are delivered ONLY when BOTH contacts are online. A huge flaw for a communication tool.

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