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Facebook Messenger offers free calling in Canada

As a follow-up to Facebook Messenger's iOS support launched earlier this year, free voice calling has now been added to the Android app to compete with the likes of Line, Viber, Nimbuzz and WeChat. This new feature will allow users to make voice calls that consume data rather than eating into voice [...]

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Mobile video calling to hit 160 million users by 2017

Juniper Research is expecting the number of mobile video callers to increase 4 times to 160 million users by 2017, but monetization via mobile advertisements lacks focus. Anthony Cox, Associate Analyst at Juniper Research says, "Mobile advertising is becoming mainstream, but the model still nee[...]

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Celebrating World Read Aloud Day: Our Global Reading Initiative and Free Group Video Calling for Teachers (Original)

I love to read and I love stories. I was called a bookworm as a kid, because once I cracked open a book, I just couldn’t put it down until it was done! And, now, I watch with delight when my 12 year old daughter does the same. The hairy feet of a Hobbit. The magical wizarding world of Harry Potter. The journey, joy and hardships of Laura Ingalls’ life across the American prairie. The determined Winnie-the-Pooh finding Eeyore’s perpetually lost tail. Personal memorable moments, the images in our heads and the cherished characters we carry with us are all made possible by the incredible world of books.

Everyone in the world – especially our children – should have a chance to experience the moments in literature that make us laugh, cry, sigh or even shiver with a bit of fear. Stories let us experience great and wonderful things, take us to faraway places, and even allow us to travel through time.

That’s why we’re proud to celebrate World Read Aloud Day. We love that our Skype in the classroom initiative creates new opportunities for youth around the world. As part of Microsoft YouthSpark– our company-wide initiative to empower 300 million youth through opportunities in education, employment, and entrepreneurship – Skype in the classroom lets young people deepen their educational experience through face-to-face connections with other countries and cultures.…

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Skype at South by Southwest 2013 (Original)

Do you consider yourself a music, technology, film or education aficionado?  If so, you may have heard about South by Southwest, a 26-year old Austin, Texas-based festival event better known simply as “SXSW” to most.  Over the years, it has grown to become one of the biggest events to find out about what’s new and exciting in pop culture.  Enthusiasts and experts from around the world gather at SXSW for discussions of the intersection of the education space, technology, digital/social media, and film and music industries.

South by Southwest Logo

Will you be attending SXSW?  If so, please stop by and say “hi” at our exciting Skype activities:

SXSW Education Panel: How Video Calls Globalize Shared Learning

Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon E

Tuesday, March 5th: 12:00PM – 1:00PM CT

Thanks to technology, classrooms no longer have four walls. The use of video calls in classrooms around the world is making shared learning possible. Now, students in Kentucky can connect with schools in Kenya, or a teacher in Oregon can collaborate on a weather project with a teacher in Argentina.

In this session, Skype’s Elisa Steele will be joined by educational technology consultant Wendy Gorton and Professor John Boyer of Virginia Tech University to discuss the importance of shared learning experiences, highlight their own uses of video calling and explore how to best implement it in the classroom setting.…

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Can Viber keep up the pace and remain free? (Original)

Questions about the cost of VoIP apps

A regular user of free mobile messaging apps like WhatApps or calls like Viber should be asking the same questions. Are these services actually free? For how long can they keep their business running without making me pay?

The free messaging app ecosystem has exploded in the last to years, with different organisations offering the same thing using specific branding. If WhatsApp is the most recognisable of them all, newcomers on the space are pushing innovation boundaries, at least on the user experience front. See Line's example: backed by reputable Korean blue-chip Naver, the core texting and voice app tries to monetise the service offering premium emoticon and sticker packs, gifting, as well as cross promotion of games and casual apps for its teenage-focused market.

This is the take from a fairly new free messenger that just reached 100 million users. The more veteran Viber, synonymous of free calls on cellular data and WiFi, is also trying to capitalise its 160 million user base and introduce the service in the competitive Asian markets. In a recent interview, Viber CEO Talmon Marco hinted that the introduction of stickers could be an avenue to explore in-app purchases, an option to be considered in future versions.…

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Skype and Messenger Coming Together: The Next Chapter (Original)

Skype is known around the world for helping people stay close whenever they’re apart.  It makes us proud that more than 280 million people choose Skype to connect with their loved ones and colleagues every month.

We love the opportunity to help more people laugh, gossip, share stories or just spend time together.  That’s why we’re excited about welcoming Windows Live Messenger users to Skype. Last November, we announced that Messenger and Skype are coming together with the option to sign in with a Microsoft account.

We want everyone who uses Messenger to have a positive experience. Upgrading to Skype can help you communicate in flexible ways, and be connected on more devices and platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Windows Phone, Android and soon Blackberry.

The upgrade from Messenger to Skype on Windows desktop will start on April 8*. The process will take a few weeks to complete. We’ll start the upgrades with our English language clients, and finish up with Brazilian Portuguese on April 30 or later.

Skype offers many features Messenger users know and love such as emoticons, group instant messaging, and screen sharing, and we think you will discover many other advantages of using Skype:

  • Instant message conversation history
  • The ability to edit and remove instant messages
  • Being able to share files and contact information
  • Video calling and instant messaging with Facebook friends
  • Group video calling

We’re continuing to share ways Messenger users can learn more about Skype, like this tutorial of a Messenger user getting to know how to use Skype including its instant messaging experience.…

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See No Evil, Hear No Evil – Tips for Audio and Video Quality (Original)

As this is my first post of 2013, let me wish you all the best for the year ahead. 2012 was an exciting year here at Skype and we’re planning on bringing you even more great stuff in 2013.

I’d like to finish what I started in December with one more set of audio and video tips for getting the best quality out of your Skype calls.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the mute button

This one is really more of a habit to get into rather than a tip. I’ve got a headset with a mute button on it, which I highly recommend in case you missed my blog on hardware tips, but if you don’t have one you can also use the mute button in Skype.
Don’t you hate it when you say something awkward because you forgot you were on a conference call? Or when your mom asks if you have any laundry to do when you’re trying to be cool on a call with your crush? Or when you’re talking to someone, they start typing and it sounds like the Norse god of thunder has joined in the conversation?
I know it’s a bit of a pain to get used to, but once you’re in the habit of muting yourself when you’re not speaking the benefits will speak for themselves.…

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Three Skype Tips from Super User and Author Jim Courtney (Original)

As I go out to local social networking events around Toronto, people often want to talk about Skype when they learn I’ve written a book called Experience Skype to the Max. I tend to find myself explaining the details of Skype features and offerings that can make a big difference.

Let’s take a look at a few that came up during a recent conversation:

Skype Premium: Yes, a Skype Premium subscription is required to make Group Video calls. But it also includes two bonus features:

  • An unlimited calling plan subscription to phones within your home country code comes with three-month and one year Skype Premium subscriptions. If you’re in Canada or United States, your plan will include calls to both those countries.
  • Free Live Chat support comes with Skype Premium as well, giving you ready access to folks who can answer questions about hardware, Internet connections and Skype features.

S4W5_6.SelectSharedWindow.300px.jpgIt’s worth mentioning that only the host of a Group Video call requires a Skype Premium subscription. Group Video calls can support up to ten participants, including participants who may only be able to participate by voice only. At any point in time one party on the call can also share his/her screen.…

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Skype Brings You Lady Gaga Live (Original)

Mark your calendars and grab a friend, because we’re going live with Lady Gaga. Tune in this Thursday, January 17th at 2pm PST to watch as Lady Gaga chats with fans on a live Skype group video call.

Now’s your chance to see Lady Gaga live, uncut and offstage. Watch as our lucky sweepstakes winners talk live, and face-to-face, with Lady Gaga.

To leave your question for Gaga, login to the social stream on the Ustream player and you never know…Mother Monster may just answer your question during the call.

ladygaga_skype_v1.jpg

For more information, head to Skypeball.com/skypewithgaga


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