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October 16, 2012

Skype Clears 45 Million Concurrent Users--More on the Way

By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

An exciting milestone occurred just recently for the folks at Skype (News - Alert), who reached 45 million concurrent users. With companies like eBay and Microsoft eager to acquire it, and even Facebook getting briefly involved, the actual number of users is noteworthy enough. But what's particularly exciting for those involved with Skype is that the growth doesn't appear to have stopped.

While Skype already has users enough to put it on par with some very major applications--by way of comparison, the Dolphin Browser has 50 million users, and the entirety of Android (News - Alert) counts about 500 million users--sources say that the hotly popular communications application is seeing growth at a rate of around eight percent month to month, which gives it a very good chance not only to see future milestones like this one, but also to see some very substantial milestones as well. 

Image via Shutterstock

Success, of course, breeds imitators, and there are plenty of companies rushing to make inroads in Skype's territory. Apple's FaceTime program and Google's (News - Alert) Google Talk, as well as their Google+ Hangouts, come readily to mind, each backed up by extensive user bases and mobile platforms specifically geared toward their use and support. But Skype is still in the game, and is often found in use on those same platforms.

Skype isn't resting on its laurels, either. They're working to roll out free Wi-Fi locations so that people can use Skype services in more places, akin to the phone booths of an earlier era. They're also working on a business solution geared toward showing businesses exactly why Skype's premium solutions bring plenty of added value to the table.

Skype isn't a solution without its problems. All video chat services have some kind of problem or another, and for many the question that remains is which services have the least amount of problems total, or at the very least, which services have the problems that can be best ignored or worked around.

Still, the longevity of Skype, the sheer attractiveness of Skype for those businesses who considered acquiring the company, and the massive growth potential of Skype, all suggest good things for a product that is doing an impressive--and somewhat surprising--job of staying afloat in a market full of competing platforms. The variety of possibilities inherent in a system like Skype--some already use it as an alternative to long-distance calling--give it plenty of reason to grow by virtue of its sheer versatility.

Skype has several things going for it: the backing of Microsoft (News - Alert), a massive user base, a steady growth rate and a whole lot of name recognition. Just what Skype will do with all these competitive advantages remains to be seen, but there's no denying that Skype is likely to be a major part of the communications landscape for some time to come.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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