The recent controversy surrounding user data safety and privacy concerns on video conferencing service Zoom, seems to have given rival Skype an opportunity to let people know that using its video calling software is as easy as it can get, and also remind them that using the app isn't as complicated as they would have thought.
The Microsoft-owned teleconferencing company in a tweet announced a new type of video calling feature called "Meet Now" where users can start a video meeting and invite people to join without using the app or even having to sign up for an account.
Skype's Meet Now feature works just like Zoom but better
The feature works quite similar to how Zoom operates, only in this case, even the host does not need to have the Skype app installed or sign up for the service, since the process of done completely on the web.
Skype describes the new "Meet Now" feature as a "hassle-free way to connect with the important people in your life on #Skype," that does not require signing up to any account, or download any software. With Meet Now, you can create and share a free meeting (basically group video call) in just three clicks, according to the company.
How to start Skype's Meet Now call
To start hosting a "Meet Now" conference call, all you'll need to do is simply head over to a web page and start a meeting by generating a call link on one simple click, and then invite people you want in the call by either using the link or the share button. You invite people who are not on Skype.
If the person you're inviting has Skype all installed then it will open the app directly to the call, and for those who don't have the app, the link will open the web client that works in Chrome or Edge. You can share the unique "Meet Now" link via Gmail, Outlook Mail, or you can copy the link and share it to your friends on WhatsApp, Facebook etc.
No limitations in terms of functionality
Also, the meeting link doesn't seem to expire, and Skype seems to have not limited the feature in terms of functionality. For example, you can get in-line chats and reactions while you're in a call and also the ability to blur the background.
There's also the option to share your screen for work or instructional purposes, and you can also record your call if you wish to, and these recorded calls will be stored for a period of 39 days. You can start a Meet Now call by clicking here or if you have Skype app installed, you can click the Meet Now button that is located next to the New Chat option in the left-hand sidebar.
Zoom's loss is Skype's gain
It seems likely that Skype could be hoping that this feature gives it a slight edge over some of its competitors, especially Zoom, which has been enjoying a lot of popularity and booming downloads ever since the coronavirus pandemic began. However, it also needs to be mention that Zoom has recently started grappling with a lot of flak from users and cybersecurity experts alike over its alleged security practices.
The videoconferencing service says that it has already made some changes and has promised some more changes to address all the issues. Until then, Skype, which once had the monopoly in the teleconferencing services business, will continue capitalizing on Zoom's loopholes and try to win back its user base. Meanwhile, Facebook recently announced a desktop version of its Messenger app to allow users to video chat on their computers, in a move that is being speculated as a bid to take on Zoom.