Since its launch in August 2003 Skype has developed its brand through “free” calling for Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls as well as chat. However, whenever they launch a revenue generating offering, users need to experience the actual feature before paying up. Recently Skype has come up with a couple of ways to have a free user experience of a feature.
Experience Skype WiFi
Skype WiFi is a “last resort” offering that allows nomadic Skype users to make calls when traveling from over 1 million access points worldwide at airports, restaurants, hotels and coffee shops amongst other “road warrior” locations. But at a cost that is country dependent but about 20 cents/minute in the U.S.
Yesterday Skype announced free Skype WiFi over the Christmas period (December 21 to 27) at 50 U.S. airport locations. Provided your battery is charged or you have access to a waiting room power outlet, you can not only make Skype and SkypeOut calls but also check your email and surf the Internet for up to one hour. (You can also access Skype WiFi on your iPhone or iPad if you have installed the Skype WiFi app.)
Experience a Simulated Group Video Call … and have some social fun at the same time
Skype’s Group Video Calling requires a Skype Premium subscription; however, through Skype’s Facebook page you can experience how Group Video calling works while sending birthday greetings or Happy Holidays wishes via a Skype Facebook application: Say It With Skype. Skype has worked with several bands to create melodious greetings that can be sent via a friend’s Facebook wall, a URL or embedded into an email message. Click on the tabs to see the progress.
Say It With Skype
The resulting video is a simulated Group Video call where each member of the band selected is a separate Group Video Call participant. And, if you elect to record, your own video is added in. Not quite a full Group Video Call experience but you start to get a feel for it. On the other hand the couple of recipients to whom I have sent these have appreciated them; it’s one way to have a bit of fun with Skype.
For a complete Group Video Call experience the 7-day trial remains available.
Personally I have been on a weekly Group Video Call that has participants in three continents across nine time zones for the past five months. When you consider that a Skype Premium subscription also incorporates Skype Out calls to U.S./Canada and Live chat support, at $4.99 (€3.49) per month for a one year subscription, it’s a no brainer.