In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Skype announced today the launch of free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 mobile devices. The feature has been available for a couple of years on the desktop, for both Mac and PC, but had yet to make its way to mobile.
The addition, says Skype, will roll out to the company’s hundreds of millions of mobile users over the “coming weeks.” Though the company didn’t provide an exact launch date, interested users were offered a way to sign up for early access to the feature by filling out a provided pre-registration form.
The form only asks for your email, Skype name, country and device. After registering, Skype says it will send you an email after it has set up group video calling support on your mobile device. It’s unclear at this time whether that means it will distribute beta software you have to install, or if the upgrade will take place in-app.
The company also shared a few metrics detailing Skype’s growth over the past 10 years, noting that since its launch in 2006, it has grown to support over 750 million people who use the application on their mobile devices, including both phones and tablets. The company additionally touted the fact that it had seen 10x growth in under two years, which could be attributed to the app’s continued popularity as a mobile communications app.
Skype has seen a number of improvements over the past several years as well, including not only the launch of group calls on the desktop, but other features like video messaging, real-time speech and instant message translation, its own version of emojis, and more. It also now lets anyone join chats — even if they don’t use Skype — and Skype for Business has become the replacement for Microsoft’s older communications tool, Lync.
Over the past decade, Skype says it has generated nearly 2 trillion minutes of free Skype calls worldwide. With the rollout of group calls on mobile, that figure will certainly continue to grow.