How to use Skype’s free group video call feature

How to use Skype’s free group video call feature

To compete with Google+ Hangouts and other VOIP services, Skype has removed its Premium subscription model and now offers group video calls for free. Available for both Windows and Mac, as well as Xbox One, the newly free feature lets you include up to 10 people on a single call.

Here, we’ll show you how to make a group video call, giving you all the tips and tricks for taking advantage of VoIP from the comfort of your couch.

Initiate a group video call on Skype

To set up a call and (virtually) meet your friends, go to the Discussions tab, then drag contacts to the top right of the window. You can add up to 9 participants (it’s 10 including you). Add participantsOnce you’ve grouped together the people you want to call, simply click the Video Call button to start a video conference, or choose the Call the group option to open a chat without activating your webcam. Skype Call a group of peopleNote that it’s possible to save a group in your Contacts . You can rename the group using the pen icon at the top left, as seen below. Enter the name of the group and click OK to save it. This option can be especially useful if you regularly video conference with the same people.Skype Change the group nameSkype Call in progress

Add a participant during an ongoing conversation

Did you forget to add a friend to the group conversation? Don’t worry– there’s a way to add another person to a video call that’s already in progress, although only the person who initiated the call can do this. This person will have to click the + button, then choose Add people to the callSkype Add ContactSelect the contacts you want, then click OK. Skype Add SassOnce the added person has accepted, you can continue with your free video call.

The little extras during calls

Sending files, much like screen sharing, is now an integrated function for any self-respecting chat system. Skype is no exception to the rule and provides the following possibilities: screen grab, sending files and contacts, and screen sharingSkype Additional OptionsBelow is a short video published by Microsoft to help you better understand all the features of group video calls.

Default player


Our opinion

With this Skype feature available for both PC and Mac, Microsoft is taking on Google Hangouts, ooVoo, and other similar services, head-on. It’s certainly taken a while, but Skype can always count on its existent (and substantial) user base to be happy about this change.

If you want to spice things up, check out our article on the Top Skype Voice Changers.

Follow me on Twitter @bbrassart

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