The rise and fall of Skype
The rise and fall of Skype

What happened to Skype?

Skype isn’t what it used to be. You may or may not have noticed.

The voice, video and messaging app became popular in the 2000s because it allowed people to talk to friends and family without paying long-distance charges. 2005 eBay bought it. The deal did not go as planned, with an investment group led by Silver Lake buying a majority stake. Microsoft He then stepped in in 2011, buying the company for $8.5 billion.

Even with the backing of the world’s largest software company, Skype is in decline.During the pandemic, consumers and business workers have turned to tools such as soaring and meta WhatsApp, now has multiple options for quickly connecting with groups of friends and colleagues from your smartphone.

“Skype is still primarily seen as one-to-one,” Jim Gaynor, vice president of research at consulting firm Directions on Microsoft, told CNBC in an interview.

Microsoft popularized Skype in Outlook and Windows and even enriched the app with its features Bing builds an AI chatbot. But the numbers still don’t look great.

In March 2020, Microsoft said Skype had 40 million daily active users, a number that has since slipped to 36 million, a spokesperson said. By contrast, Microsoft’s new Teams messaging app has grown in popularity, with monthly users rising from nearly 250 million in July 2021 to a record high of more than 300 million in the first quarter.

Jaan Tallinn, one of Skype’s founding engineers, said that even though he’s been away from Skype for more than a decade, it’s still his default choice for calls.

“If people want to use other channels, then I’m happy to comply,” he said.

It’s unclear how long Skype will be around, but it’s not going away just yet.

“Skype remains a great option for people who love it and want to connect through messaging, audio and video calls, and Bing Chat,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email.

Watch the CNBC Digital video above to learn more about 20 years of Skype’s growth and struggles.

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