One of the biggest complaints of Skype users with the service is the fact that they have to pay a pretty nice buck for the group video calling feature. But not anymore, as the Skype team has officially announced today that there will be no more charging for Skype group video calling. At the moment, this feature is available free of charge on Windows desktop, OS X, and the Xbox One, but all platforms are said to receive it in the feature. So, as we can see, owners of more mobile devices will have to wait a little longer until this gets rolled out to touch Windows 8 devices iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
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. And, in the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost.
Previously, you had to pay $4.99 for a day pass or $8.99 per month to use the service. Skype was already the leader on free one-to-one video calling and also one of the most known free instant messaging services, but with this announcement, it will manage to convince its current users to stick with them and will attract new users. With this move, Microsoft is catching up to the competition, where rival services like Google Hangouts have offered free group video calling for quite a while now. What many don’t know about the group video calling feature is the fair usage policy:
Group video calls are subject to a fair usage limit of 100 hours per month with no more than 10 hours per day and a limit of 4 hours per individual video call. Once these limits have been reached, the video will switch off and the call will convert to an audio call.
But most of the average users are obviously falling within those limits. If you are interested in trying out the service at your workplace or with your friends, you should know that the Skype group video calling allows users to participate in video chats with up to 10 people using PCs or Macs and a maximum of 4 Xbox One consoles. This change represents yet another step which Microsoft is taking to meet the demands of its cross-platform clients. Also, it’s probably part of Satya Nadella’s and his team focus on the mobile and the cloud.