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). Once 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. Note 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.
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 call. Select the contacts you want, then click OK. Once 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 sharing. Below is a short video published by Microsoft to help you better understand all the features of group video calls.
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.
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