Facebook Messenger iOS app enables free calling feature for UK users (Original)
While Americans and Canadians have enjoyed making app-based voice calls to their Facebook contacts since January, their overseas buddies have missed out -- until now. The social network's iOS Messenger app has just doled out the calling feature to the UK and potentially other parts of Europe too, although we haven't yet been able to confirm exactly how far and wide the update reaches. It's worth noting that the feature isn't enabled on the Android iteration yet, either. The new calling service isn't powered by Skype this time, although it works in a similarly uncomplicated way, with the ability to leave voice messages with any busy users. According to Pocket-lint, this is an experimental version, warning that you might experience a few bugs and glitches as you play around with it, but hey, you're getting free calls to (most of) your friends, barring any data charges. We've tested the new feature and it's working for several of our UK editors over both WiFi and 3G, but if you haven't already picked up the messaging app yet, you can grab it at the source below.
Source: Facebook Messenger…
Skype for Windows Phone 8 gets HD video, People Hub integration in latest update (Original)
Avid Skype video users on Windows Phone 8, now is the time to get your hair did -- HD video is now possible employing "higher-end" WP8 devices, such as the Lumia 920, HTC 8X, and Samsung Ativ S. "Lower end handsets" will have to settle for VGA video, though Microsoft says call quality across the board was improved in update 2.4. All WP8 handsets will enjoy People Hub integration, meaning you can jump right into Skype calls from your contacts list, rather than having to independently open the app. And should a friend need to use your phone to Skype a buddy in Belgrade, account switching is now integrated into the main menu. The update is of course free, and available right now in the Windows Phone store. Head past the break for the full list of updates.
Skype Brings Together Bands and Fans at SXSW 2013 (Original)
Over the past weekend, hordes of music fans and artists once again gathered together in Austin, Texas for the 27th annual SXSW Music Conference. The days were jam packed with people from around the world in the music industry, eager to share their experiences and stories with one another. Music truly brings people together, just as Skype does each and every day.
Together with Live nation, Skype created a unique technology fueled experience for music junkies. Located at the heart of 6th Street at The Belmont, the Skype Mobile Lounge featured stellar daytime and nighttime showcases from some of the top up-and-coming artists.
In addition to the stellar performances, bloggers, fans, and the artists themselves stopped by to check out and use Skype-enabled devices to share their time in Austin with friends and family. They kicked back, re-charged and relaxed in the company of fellow music lovers.
Best of all, some lucky fans had the chance to chat with their favorite bands face-to-face. Through a Skype video call, the fans talked to the bands about their music and what inspires them just moments before the artists went out on stage to perform.…
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 [...]
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[...]
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.…
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.
Will you be attending SXSW? If so, please stop by and say “hi” at our exciting Skype activities:
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.
For more information, head to Skypeball.com/skypewithgaga