When I first started using Skype, I thought its only real use was for video calling. Over the past few years as I have begun to use Skype more and more I have found Skype to offer so many ways to communicate, and often as a free service! You can make video or voice-only calls to any other Skype user for free! But, what’s more, is you can connect your Facebook account and using Skype as an instant messenger to reach both your Skype contacts and your Facebook online friends! I have used Skype often to send quick chat messages over to family and friends both from my Skype username lists and my Facebook contacts as well. It is convenient to have both contact list right there and easy to access, if you choose to link your Facebook account. Just recently, though, I have been playing with two of Skype’s premium features. These features are not extremely expensive and add another great way to communicate. For just $9.99 a month (or even HALF that if you subscribe for 12-months!) you can enjoy unlimited calls to US and Canada to increase your calling capacities to outside of Skype usernames or toll-free numbers. The premium account also makes group video calling or screen sharing available!
I have used Skype for making my toll-free calls since early 2012. It is such a simpler way to make a call while I’m sitting at my desk and multitasking to be able to call hands free with my microphone and computer speakers. I make all those calls to automated numbers and even calls to customer service reps when I need to talk to an actual assistant too. Since adding premium, I’ve now been using Skype for the majority of my outbound calls, toll-free numbers or not! I love the simplicity of calling and multitasking, which is important to me as a busy mom of three. I also have had a great time using the Group Chat feature! I call up several family members as once and it’s a great way for grandparents, cousins, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc to all connect and feel like we are all together for a gathering! My littlest one had a blast watching the different video feeds pop up (activated by who is talking) and kept telling everyone “Hi” each time their picture moved to the top! My Mother-in-Law took it as a fun game to try to stay at the top and keep chatting so she would “win” the most hello’s from my little man. Lots of “Hi Grandma’s” were said which got us all laughing!
Another really cool way to use Skype which we just starting to try out is Skype for your mobile. Since our new smartphone has a forward facing camera, using Skype for video calls is really neat! The camera can record while you chat and connect with whoever is on the other end of the call! We’ve used this several times when out and about or even just going about our day around home as a fun way to connect without having to be stuck at the computer desk. It let’s my kids enjoy a whole new kind of conversation as they can take the caller along with them to show off their bedroom, favorite toys, you name it!
Skype has definitely become an essential in our home for staying connecting and making life so much simpler in many ways! I have to say, video calling is still my favorite feature, but I love all the new methods of video calling that have come about through different advancements in technology. Group video calls and smartphone video calls have both added a different richness and depth to our video conversations! I’m also looking forward to using group screen sharing to be able to help my review team as needed for troubleshooting remotely.
Check out this interesting infographic all about how moms are now interacting and using technology in their daily lives!
Skype was founded in 2003 with the goal of breaking down the barriers of communication. It allows users with an internet-connected device to video, voice, or message each other for free from anywhere around the world! You can upgrade your Skype service to include landline and mobile line calling to anywhere around the world for low monthly rates or a pay-as-you-go plan with Skype credits. Additionally, you can upgrade to Skype Premium which allows you to connect with more than one person at a time with a video chat that really connects long distance groups of families or friends or use group screen sharing to make presentations or share your photos! Skype is also available as a free app for Windows Phone, Android, iPhone, iPad, Symbian and Verizon Wireless 4G LTE devices. You can even use Skype through your TV with a Skype-enabled Blu-ray player or Skype-ready TV! Now, your long distance friends and family are just a video phone call away!
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Skype. I received Skype credits to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.