Skype to unveil group video chat function

May 5, 2010 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer
Skype A

(AP) -- Internet calling service Skype plans a public "beta" test of a group video chat function that lets up to five people participate in a video call simultaneously.

When the feature launches next week it will be free, but Skype Ltd. plans to start charging for it along with some other upcoming features in three or four months, said Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype's consumer business segment.

Skype's software already offers a range of free services, including the ability to make voice or video calls and send to other Skype users. Users pay for services such as making calls from a PC to a landline or cell phone.

Stevens said group will first be available to those who use Skype on Windows PCs, and the company expects to roll out a Mac version later this year.

Stevens said the feature is the one users have requested most.

Skype, which was sold late last year by Inc. for about $2 billion to an investor group that includes Skype's founders, is also expanding its monthly subscription offerings to include calls to both cell phones and landlines in more than 170 countries.

The company's existing subscription plans include one that allows calls to more than 40 countries, but they focus mostly on calls to landlines. That is generally cheaper for the company than routing calls from the Internet to cell phones.

On Wednesday, plans to unveil new subscriptions that let users choose which countries they want to call and whether they want to call landlines and cell phones or just one of the two.

Explore further: Make Free Internet Calls From Your Regular Phone With Internet Phone Wizard


Related Stories

Skype comes to iPhones on Tuesday

March 30, 2009

Skype has confirmed that a free software application enabling iPhone owners to use its Internet telephone service will be available in Apple's online App Store beginning Tuesday.

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.