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Skype is undeniably one of the top popular free instant messaging services on the internet for use in the workplace and at home.

It supports video and audio chat for one-to-one calls or for large groups who need to meet and work remotely. Skype integrates with whatever you need to be productive through text chat, file transfers.

It’s free to use. But you can purchase low-cost credits to call or send SMS texts directly to fixed landlines and mobile phones in your home country or abroad. Skype also works with Xbox and Alexa, so there is fantastic versatility and flexibility to make communication more convenient.

As well as better communications, Skype enables users to set up call transfers, so you are never out of range. In 24 countries, you can also purchase a Skye number as a second local phone number.

If you are not using Skype yet, you will almost certainly find some of your contacts on there already with hundreds of millions of registered users.


In group calls, the latest version of Skype (8.65) saw the addition of a feature called Raise Hand.

It’s a way to ask for the floor during a meeting without cutting across an ongoing discussion. This new feature to request a turn to speak is available on all Skye platforms, including desktop, web, and mobile.

Clicking the Raise Hand feature illuminates the icon in everyone’s Skype meeting panel. The hand can be lowered either by the person themself or by other participants. In moderated groups, only admins can lower the hand.

You can raise your hand as many times as you like during a meeting, whether moderated or not.

September 15, 2020

The new Skype version (8.64) added new functionality over how you manage your emojis. The new reaction picker lets you sort and manage your most used emojis without having to scroll through hundreds of others first.


High definition video calling

Host meetings with up to 99 other people

Audio calls

Instant messaging


Affordable call charges to landlines and mobiles

Instant chat

Send SMS messages

Skype numbers

Live subtitles on audio and video calls

Call recording


High level of adoption

High awareness levels


Skype credits to call fixed lines and mobiles are cheap

Easy to install and use


Best known for personal communications though there is a subscription service called Skye for Business

Reports of the Android version being glitchy

Customer service isn’t always the fastest

How to use

Go to the Skype download page on their website. From here, you can download the Skye for Desktop software, which is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Android and iOS versions of Skype can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. You may want to download the app onto your smartphone, even if you have already installed the desktop version, for maximum flexibility and mobility. A Windows 10 Mobile version is also available.

There are also links to download dedicated versions for tablets, the web, Alexa, and Xbox at the foot of the Skype download page.

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