What's new with Skype?
April 6, 2018 - Skype for Content Creators focuses on podcasters, streamers, and other collaborators
Calling all podcasters, vloggers, and streamers: Skype announced in a blog post today that it's launching a feature just for you.
Called Skype for Content Creators, the new way to record lets you capture videos, podcasts, and live streaming calls without having to shell out tons of cash for expensive studio equipment. Now, when you want to do an episode of your show, you can select Content Creators mode, and Skype will record clean audio and video feeds directly to an NDI-based software like Wirecast, Xsplit, or Vmix. Then after you're finished, you can import it into your favorite video editing program and pop in all the graphics, titles, and effects that make the show yours. Basically, you're cutting out a handful of annoying additional steps, streamlining the creative process.
Skype for Content Creators is expected to be released this summer for both Windows 10 and Mac.
What is Skype?
Skype is a free software program that allows you to make video and audio calls peer-to-peer or in groups. Though it is now owned by Microsoft, it was first released in 2003 and was created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis (in collaboration with Kazaa developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn). With Skype, you can send instant messages and share files with friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else you'd like to converse with, no matter where you are in the world. As long as you have an internet connection, you can use Skype to chat with one or more people face-to-face.
Skype also offers a paid subscription tier that lets users do even more, like send SMS messages and make audio calls to any phone, locally or internationally.
What devices can I use to access Skype?
Skype can be accessed on computers that run Windows, Linux, and macOS X. You can also download it on your tablet, smartphone, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, Skype has temporarily discontinued support for both Apple Watch and Android Wear, but according to Skype Support, that may be reinstated soon.
How do I get it?
If you're interested in downloading Skype's desktop client, you can do that here. If you're looking to add it to a mobile device, select the version you need from the list below:
- Skype for iPhone - Free - Download now
- Skype for Android - Free - Download now
- Skype for Windows 10 Mobile - Free - Download now
- Skype for iPad - Free - Download now
- Skype for Android tablets - Free - Download now
- Skype for Kindle Fire HD - Free - Download now
- Skype for Windows tablets - Free - Download now
How does it work?
In order to use Skype, you'll need to first sign up for a Microsoft account. If you don't already have one, you can choose to create one. Once you've done so, you can immediately begin adding Skype contacts by searching for either their Skype screen name, email address, phone number, or display name. All you have to do is click or tap the Contacts button in the lefthand sidebar (it looks like a little address book), and then select the little icon at the top right of the screen that looks like a person next to a plus sign. Before you do this, though, I'd suggest uploading a profile photo and inputting your name so the people you'd like to add to your contacts will recognize you. Once you've filled your address book, you can start video calling, chatting, and sharing files to your heart's content. You can use Skype to do everything from working with peers on projects to holding meetings with coworkers to hanging out with faraway friends and relatives.
What can I do on Skype?
- Video calling: Skype offers free video calling that allows you to have a face-to-face conversation with anyone else who has either Skype and a webcam or a compatible mobile device.
- Audio calling: With Skype, you can make Skype-to-Skype calls with anyone, no matter their location. These calls are free and can last as long as your heart desires. If the individual you'd like to contact doesn't have Skype, you can also pay low rates to call mobile phones and landlines. With a paid plan, you also have the option to forward Skype calls to any phone in case you're not on Skype when someone needs to contact you.
- Conference calling: In Skype's group calls, you can host a group video chat or audio conference call for up to 25 people. This is great for sharing news with the entire family, hanging out with multiple friends at once, or undertaking a work-related task with a team of colleagues.
- Voicemail: If you so choose, you can set up a voicemail on Skype that will take calls for you when you're busy or aren't using the program. Much like regular voicemails, you can save or delete them and listen to them at your leisure.
- Instant messaging: When you're not feeling up to calling, Skype allows you to instant message your friends in a format similar to other IM services like Facebook Messenger. Like Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls, it's 100% free, and you can either chat with a single person or a group of people.
- Video messaging: If your friends aren't online but you have a moment you'd like to share with them right away, you can choose to record and send them a video message by using the video messaging service within Skype.
- SMS texting: This feature lets users send text messages to any mobile device. However, like making audio calls to non-Skype phones, this does cost a bit of money.
- Screen sharing: Need to collaborate with a client or give a friend a tutorial? With Skype, you can share your screen with whoever you're calling, making it easy to work on projects together.
- File transfer: You can send, receive, and view any type of file over Skype. That means photos, videos, presentations, gifs — go all out. Though there are size limits to files and some types of files may require certain software to view properly, as long as your friend has enough storage space, they can access and save any files you send them for 30 days.
- Contact sharing: Say your grandma just joined Skype. She's going to need the rest of the family's contact info, right? Skype makes it super easy to transfer contacts to a friend or family member. All you have to do is drag and drop the contact you want to share into your chat with grandma so she can add them to her own contact list.
- Language translation: Looking to break the language barrier with a Skype friend who has a different mother tongue? Now you can! Skype has a voice translator for video calls that currently works in 8 languages, as well as a text translator that's available in more than 50 languages for instant messaging. It uses machine learning to translate your convos, so the more you use it, the better it gets. Unfortunately though, this is a feature that's only available on devices with Windows 7 or above.
- Skype for Slack: If you use Slack in the workplace, you can move your work conversations from your office's channel or a DM into a free group call with Skype. All you have to do is install the Skype slack app and then type /skype into the message input to start a voice or video call. In order to use Skype for Slack, you need to have Skype installed locally on your device as well.
How can I make myself look good on Skype?
Want to look your best while video chatting with friends, co-podcasters, coworkers, and more? Check out our tips here so you can look as beautiful and fly as you do in person.
Still have some burning Skype questions you desperately need answered? Share them with us in the comments below and we'll do our best to help you out!
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