Microsoft has made Skype group video calling free on a range of devices, with users on Windows, Mac and Xbox One now able to do without premium subscriptions.
Before this announcement users would need to be premium subscribers to get access to group video chat, but Microsoft has announced that it will make video chat free for Windows, OSX and the Xbox One from today, April 28. The company has confirmed other platforms will following later.
Other platforms, of course, include Windows Phone, iOS and Android, along with, presumably the other devices that use Skype, like smart televisions.
A Skype Premium account costs about £1.50 per month for the most basic package, which includes 60 minutes of calls to landlines and UK mobile phones.
The move to offer video group calls free is no doubt a response to the other messaging apps that either already offer the service, like, say Google Hangouts. And while Facebook only supports calls to one person currently, it’s likely to have group calling in its sights for future release.
But Skype must also have concerns about the up-and-coming services from the likes of WhatsApp and Snapchat. These are dominating in text-only, and simple photo and video sharing, and will likely have Skype in their targets for future expansion.
No matter what the reasons though, Skype group calling is a really nice feature, it’s great to use and we can see it being hugely popular with families that want to stay in touch all across the globe.