In the digital age, communication has been revolutionized by various technologies, and Skype is one of the most notable among them. Skype, a telecommunications application, has become a household name, providing video chat and voice call services, along with instant messaging and file transfer. This article delves into the background of Skype, its founders, revenue, and other interesting facts about this popular platform.
Background of Skype
Skype was first launched in August 2003 by a team of software developers from Estonia. The initial idea was to create a peer-to-peer network that would allow users to make calls over the internet. The name “Skype” is derived from “Sky peer-to-peer”, which was then shortened to “Skyper” and eventually to “Skype”. The software quickly gained popularity due to its user-friendly interface and high-quality voice and video calls.
The Founders of Skype
Skype was founded by Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn, all of whom were software developers from Estonia. They were part of the team that developed Kazaa, a file-sharing program. Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, the entrepreneurs behind the music-sharing application Kazaa, also played a significant role in the development and launch of Skype.
Acquisition by eBay and Microsoft
In 2005, eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion, with the hope of using it to boost communication between buyers and sellers. However, this plan did not materialize as expected, and in 2009, eBay sold a majority stake in Skype to a group of investors. In 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, integrating it into many of its services, including Outlook and Xbox.
Skype generates revenue primarily through its premium services. While the basic features like voice and video calls between Skype users are free, the company charges for services like calling mobiles and landlines, voicemail, call forwarding, and SMS. Skype also offers a business version, Skype for Business, which provides additional features like conference calls and meeting scheduling, for a fee.
Skype’s Impact on Communication
Skype has had a profound impact on communication, making it easier and more affordable for people to connect with others around the world. It has been particularly beneficial for long-distance relationships, international business meetings, remote work, and online education. Skype’s technology has also paved the way for other video conferencing and communication apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Interesting Facts about Skype
Skype has some interesting facts that many may not be aware of. For instance, in 2012, Skype became the international dialing code for the European Union. Also, in 2011, Skype’s traffic was around 190 billion minutes, which accounted for approximately 25% of the world’s international calling minutes. Furthermore, Skype has a significant presence in the corporate world, with around 100 million users using Skype for Business.
In conclusion, Skype has revolutionized the way we communicate, breaking down geographical barriers and making global communication more accessible and affordable. From its inception by a team of Estonian developers to its acquisition by tech giant Microsoft, Skype’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of technology. Its revenue model, focusing on premium services, has proven successful, and its impact on communication is undeniable. As we move further into the digital age, Skype continues to be a significant player in the realm of online communication.