Skype has recently launched a shiny new version of its application, adding a new set of features, in an attempt to keep up with other messaging application competitors. While this makeover puts Skype in the same line with Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, let’s not forget that it was once a pioneer ahead of its time.
In the early days, Skype was an online communication tool that allowed us to improve our skills from the comfort of our homes. For example, if you wanted to brush up your math knowledge, you could go on sites like Preply look for algebra tutors here https://preply.com/en/skype/algebra-tutors and then work via Skype with them.
But, how did Skype became such an indispensable learning tool? Read on for the complete story.
Skype was launched more than a decade ago, in 2003, by a Swede named Niklas Zennstrom and a Dane named Janus Friis. However, the relationship between the two started years before they launched Skype. After the complete failure of Everyday.com, a business they worked for in Luxembourg and Amsterdam, in 2000 the two guys created Kazaa, a new product that allowed files to be transferred from one computer to another without any intermediary server.
Kazaa was a success, becoming the most downloaded program at that moment. However, soon enough, it started being sued for enabling piracy since many of the files distributed, such as music, films, and pornography had no copyrights. Although the owners were constantly hiding from US lawyers, in the end, they had to pay over $100 million to the music and film industry for redemption.
How Skype Started
The idea of Skype came soon after the entire Kazaa situation. The owners started thinking about making voice calls cheaper by using the same data sharing system from Kazaa. They combined the words “sky” and “peer” to form the name of the company, Skype.
With the help of investors, Skype went live in 2003. On its first day, 10,000 people downloaded it. In just a couple of months, there were already one million people using it. Soon, everyone wanted a piece of it.
The Unlikely Alliance of Skype and eBay
In 2005, news broke that Skype had been sold to eBay for $2.6 billion, half of it in cash and half of it in shares. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL were all possible contenders, so the fact that eBay was the winner came as a shock to many.
Although at the moment, it seemed like a great deal, the owners quickly found out the companies have different approaches to running and growing Skype. The company did everything it could to unify the divided employees, even throwing fun parties for them.
But, the problematic relationship between Skype and eBay eventually took a toll on the entire deal. In 2011, Skype was sold again, this time to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.
Skype Is Now Healthier Than Ever
Skype is a company that managed to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant in a marketplace that is constantly changing. They have recently embraced the mobile revolution and launched a new set of features that meet the current needs of today’s users. Skype now has a feature similar to Snapchat and Instagram’s stories, called “Highlights.” It was a natural step that ensures Skype will keep its crown as a preferred communication tool even in this social media-dominated world.
It’s hard to say what will happen next. But, one thing is clear: every decision so far has turned Skype into a powerhouse. And, we can only expect for the trend to continue.