Microsoft (who owns Skype, in case you hadn’t heard), announced in April that they were making Skype group Skype calls free. Previously, it was a premium upgrade. Most think they did this to compete with Google Hangouts and that they were too late, but not true!
There are Skype apps and there is Skype for the Desktop (Windows versions). I use the Desktop version because that’s what I’m familiar with. So to get my account ready for group calls, I just fired up Skype and built a group. Here’s how.
Build A Group for Skype
After signing in, look for the group icon (underlined below). Click on it and a box will open up and it’ll be ready for you to drag contacts over to it, or add contacts by clicking on the ‘plus’ symbol. Here is the test group I built and named ‘test group’.
After I built my group, I decided I wanted to move one person in and one out. To do this, I clicked the person’s name to remove, then right-clicked on it and then chose the last item on the list, ‘remove from group’. Easy peasy.
Pro Tip: After you build and name your group, it might be helpful to add it to your contact list. I didn’t see my group anywhere in my contacts, so I did a search for it and found it. Then, I right-clicked on the group name and chose ‘save to contact list’. That way, I think it’ll be easier to find. You might forget the name of the group you created, so if it’s in your contacts (and you don’t have too many), you can find it.
Share Screen, Send Files While Chatting
A great feature of Skype many don’t know about is the screen sharing feature. This is so helpful when you want to show someone how to do something or maybe you are having an on-line meeting. Just pull up a presentation or document and you’re ready to go. This feature will save you $40/month since you won’t be paying for Go To Meeting or one of those services. The only caveat is that you can’t give control of your computer to someone else, only the person sharing their screen has the computer controls. That is usually fine, but if you’re getting help with a computer issue, you’ll have to follow someone’s directions instead of having them control and fix the problem.
Sending files is another great benefit of using Skype. You can send files while in a call, voice, IM or video. Just click the send file and then navigate to where your file(s) are. To select more than one file, hold the Ctrl key while selecting more than one. The Skype help section said you can send any type and size file. I would think there’s a limit on sizes, but that’s what it said.
So if you haven’t downloaded Skype yet, get it and try it. It’s a fun and useful tool. If you don’t have a chat client, use Skype for that in addition to these other features. Enjoy!
If you have a tip to share, please leave it in the comment section. Thanks.