Skype’s new ‘Meet Now’ feature allows hosts to start a conference call without downloading an app or signing up to the service.
You can actually create a video call with a single click from Skype’s website. Once you’ve generated the meeting URL, you just need to share it with participants to start your conference call. It’s free, refreshingly easy, and allows you to have meetings of up to 50 people.
Related: The best ways to video chat
The new feature is a clear swipe at its Zoom competitor, which also offers free, unlimited video calls. As is the case with Skype, you don’t need to have a special app downloaded or a Zoom account to join a meeting.
You do, however, need to set up an account if you plan on starting a video call on Zoom. Moreover, it’s painfully difficult to dodge the company’s constant prompts to create an account or download the app when you’re using the software.
That’s not to say that the Skype experience is seamless. The meeting will still try to prise open an ancient Skype app you might have installed or prompt you to install a new one. But it’s easy to click cancel on this option, whereas Zoom makes it considerably more finicky to join or start a call without its corresponding app.
Microsoft claims that you can have unlimited meetings on Skype, but if you sneak a look at its fair usage policy it caps this at 100 hours a month, with a maximum of 10 hours per day.
Zoom also claims that its free plan offers unlimited meetings, but these are limited to 40 minutes per meeting where there are three or more participants.
Related: Is Zoom safe?
Zoom saw a massive uptick in usage as people pivoted to working from home, but it’s recently had to tackle growing security concerns that have emerged as its popularity boomed.