Facebook Messenger vs Skype
Last updated: December 20, 2016
Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software application which provides text and voice communication. Available now for Android and iPhone. Secure Facebook Messenger alternatives are Signal and Telegram. If you are looking for Facebook Messenger alternatives for business pay attention to GoToMeeting, Skype for Business.
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype alternative for enterprise is called Skype for Business. Secure Skype alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
Latest news about Facebook Messenger and Skype:
20.12.16. Facebook Messenger gets group video calling. Facebook Messenger just added group video calling. The chat app now allows groups of up to six users to make video calls directly from their messages. The feature, available now to anyone with the latest version of the app. Starting a group call works the same way as it does for one-to-one video calls in the app: tapping the camera icon in the top right corner while in a chat will begin the video call. Facebook has limited the calls to groups of six, though up to 50 other participants to join in without video once the limit is reached. Recall that Messenger's bro WhatsApp added only one-to-one video calling last month.
15.12.16. Skype adds real-time translation to all VoIP calls. Last year Skype launched built-in Translator that allows to translate speech in real-time. Until now this feature was available only in video chat, but in the new version you'll be able to call people around the world and have your conversation interpreted instantaneously - even if they're using the last remaining rotary phone. When placing a call, users just need to set their language of choice and the tool will take care of the rest. The person on the other end of the line will hear a message stating that the call is being recorded and translated through the service, which will be very clear once the conversation begins. Windows Insider Program members will be the first to have access to the new feature. To date, nine spoken languages are supported: English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.
16.11.16. Skype now allows to make calls without registration. Last year Skype enabled to invite to chat or video call people that don't have Skype account. Now it's possible to start chat and calls without registration also. All you have to do is go to Skype.com and click "Start a Conversation." You type in your name, it creates the chat with its own unique link that you can send to friends or colleagues. They don't need to use an account either. You can invite up to 300 people in a text chat or up to 25 on voice or video calls. The conversation only lasts for 24 hours, so you won't be able to go through your post history afterwards. You also won't be able to use Skype Translator or call phone numbers with the service; those still require you to have a Skype account.
06.10.16. Facebook Messenger adds end-to-end encryption. Facebook Messenger chats can now be secure with the help of new feature - "secret conversations". Once you have enabled Secret Conversations, Messenger will encrypt conversations, preventing any unauthorized party from decoding your chats. In addition to texts and photos, Facebook has put the encryption layer on stickers as well, but videos and GIFs are not included. Furthermore, the feature doesn't work for group chats, and it needs to be turned on for each individual conversation. Facebook is also offering users Snapchat-like ability to have their messages self-destruct after a specified duration. To get these features, you need to ensure Messenger app is updated on your Android phone or iPhone. There's no word on what happens to Windows Phone (or Windows 10 Mobile, as they like to call it now) users.
11.08.16. Skype gets Bots. In the new version of the Skype for Windows 10, Microsoft added several Skype bots, the automated chat assistants that it introduced earlier this year in a limited preview. The new bots include those that can help you make travel arrangements, locate event tickets, pull in information from other applications and services and even keep you entertained. For example, the Skyscanner Bot lets you search for individual or group flights, return pricing information and route options. Then, it will provide a link where users can go to complete the booking.
06.07.16. Microsoft launched free Skype Meetings for small business. Microsoft launched Skype Meetings, a new audio and video conferencing tool specifically designed for small businesses. Unlike the fully featured Skype for Business product (that allows you to host meetings with up to 250 people and it’s deeply integrated into Outlook, Word and PowerPoint), Skype Meetings only allows PowerPoint collaboration (screen sharing, laser pointer, etc.) and screen sharing. Video calls are also limited to a maximum of 10 people during the first two months. After that, the maximum number of participants drops to three people. Participants can join Skype Meetings from virtually any device with the help of a personalized URL and the calls are powered by the same technology as Skype for Business calls. That means you will get to take advantage of Skype’s head tracking feature, for example, which ensures that a face will always be in the center of the screen, no matter where it is in the actual video image.
22.04.16. Facebook Messenger adds group calls. Facebook Messenger users now can start a group VoIP audio call from any group chat. Just tap the Phone icon, select which of the group chat members you want included and they’ll all receive a Messenger call simultaneously. If you miss the initial call but it’s still in progress, you can tap the Phone icon in the group chat to join the call. At any time you can see who’s on the call and send another ping to anyone who hasn’t joined. The maximum number of participants in a call - 50.
19.04.16. Skype voice and video calls now work plugin-free in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft is making Skype in the browser plugin-free, but for now - only in Microsoft Edge. Other browsers, including IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari, will continue to require plugins as before. This includes Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive, all of which, along with Skype for Web, will now support real-time, plugin-free voice, video and group calling when you’re using Microsoft Edge. The company has been more recently working on ways to allow anyone to join a Skype chat, even if they don’t have an account. Skype for Web was one easy way to connect these invitees to your chat session, but installing browser plugins could slow down that experience. Now when those users are on Edge, they can just click a link and start chatting.
13.04.16. Facebook Messenger now allows to build chatbots. Facebook Mesenger will now allow businesses to deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through chatbots like Kik, Line and Telegram that have their own bot platforms. Zuckerberg explained that with AI and natural language processing combined with human help, people will be able to talk to Messenger bots just like they talk to friends. Through the Messenger Platform’s new Send/Receive API, bots can respond with structured messages that include text, images, links and call to action buttons. These could let users make a restaurant reservation, review an e-commerce order and more. You can swipe through product carousels and pop out to the web to pay for a purchase. A new persistent search bar at the top of Messenger will help people discover bots.
16.03.16. Skype for Web now supports calling to mobile phones, landlines. Browser-based Skype for Web is getting a slew of new features that brings it more in line with its desktop and mobile counterparts – most notably the added ability to dial mobile phones and landlines. To make calls to mobile phones or landlines from the browser, you’ll need a subscription or Skype credit, as on other platforms. Then, once signed in, you can click on the phone call tab, pick a destination, and dial. Besides, the web version also now allows you to bring non-Skype users into a conversation easily, introduces notifications, and lets you watch YouTube videos in Skype for Web itself.
23.02.16. Skype discontinues its video messaging app Qik. Skype Qik, Microsoft’s attempt at spinning off video messaging into a simplified mobile application, is shutting down. The app was first introduced in fall 2014 to serve a different audience than the larger, more fully-featured, Skype application. Instead of offering real-time chat, screen sharing and audio and video calling, Qik was designed only for asynchronous video messaging. The app shared its name with the mobile video startup Skype acquired back in 2011, but the technologies were completely different. The older version of Qik was about live streaming. With new Qik, users could communicate by quickly sending video messages. However, according to a post on the Skype Developers’ blog, many of the ideas from Qik have now made their way over to Skype’s main application – including video messaging. Because Skype now supports Qik’s core functionality, the Qik app is being shut down.
20.01.16. Skype integrated with Slack. The new Slack integration allows team members using Slack’s real-time communication software a way to quickly start Skype voice or video call from within the Slack application. Once installed, kicking off a Skype call is as simple as just typing in “/skype” into the Slack chat interface, which will then display a join link. On the desktop, you’ll only need a web browser plugin, while on mobile, you’ll need to download the Skype mobile application onto your smartphone. Slack team members can also join as guests on a computer, or they can sign in using their Skype name or Microsoft account information.
15.01.16. Skype adds free group video calls to mobile apps. Skype announced the launch of free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 mobile devices. The feature has been available for a couple of years on the desktop, for both Mac and PC, but had yet to make its way to mobile. Once it's live, the update will allow Skype users to make video calls with as many as 25 participants for free. While Skype has supported group video calls for some time, the feature was previously available only to those who subscribed to Skype for Business (though the free apps have supported group audio calls.)
25.11.15. Facebook launched enterprise messenger. Facebook at Work, the version of Facebook designed for chatting with colleagues on a private social network, now has its own chat client as well. Somewhat like Facebook at Work’s version of Messenger, the new Work Chat app, as it’s called, allows coworkers to message each other individually, participate in group chats, share photos and videos, make voice calls, and even use stickers. The Android app is already available, and the iOS version is in the works and will arrive soon. The enterprise version of Facebook looks a lot like the consumer version of Facebook, and includes its own website as well as Facebook at Work mobile applications for iOS and Android. Employers can set up new accounts for their staff to use on the platform, and users can choose to link their personal and work accounts together. The service also allows for other business use cases, like document sharing, discussions, announcements, groups, project collaborations, events, and more.
16.06.15. Skype for Web is available globally. Skype has opened its web-based client beta to the entire world, after launching it broadly in the U.S. and U.K. earlier this month. Skype for Web also now supports Chromebook and Linux for instant messaging communication (no voice and video yet, those require a plug-in installation). To get at the Skype for Web Beta, just head to either web.skype.com or Skype.com and login when prompted. Based on my limited experience with the beta, it works as advertised, and now that Chromebooks get IM support, it should be a lot more useful to people looking to travel light and cheap and stay connected from wherever they want to communicate, with or without their own PC.
29.04.15. Facebook Messenger gets free video calls. Facebook Messenger has launched free VOIP video calling over cellular and wifi connections on iOS and Android in the U.S., Canada, UK, and 15 other countries. Facebook’s goal is to connect people face to face no matter where they are or what mobile connection they have. With Messenger, someone on a new iPhone with strong LTE in San Francisco could video chat with someone on a low-end Android with a few bars of 3G in Nigeria. Facebook first introduced desktop video calling in partnership with Skype in 2011, but eventually built its own video call infrastructure. Bringing it to mobile could Messenger a serious competitor to iOS-only FaceTime, clunky Skype, and less-ubiquitous Google Hangouts.
09.04.15. Facebook launched dedicated web interface for its Messenger. Facebook has launched Messenger.com - a dedicated chat interface for Facebook Messenger. You can still send messages from Facebook.com as always, but Messenger.com could become a favorite of busy users concerned with productivity, or those that use Facebook to chat with friends but don’t like the social content chaos of its main site. The Messenger site features a list of your threads on the left, with a big, clean, white chat window on the right. You can use most of the mobile app’s features from here, including audio and video calls, stickers, and photos. For now it lacks the ability to record and send audio messages, instantly send a photo from your web cam, or use the new Messenger platform content sharing apps. But just like splitting Messenger’s app off from Facebook on mobile, doing the same on the web could give the company more room to pack in bonus features that differentiate it from SMS and other chat apps.
27.03.15. Facebook wants to replace business2customer email by its Messenger. Facebook is aiming to use its Messenger to reinvent communication between customers and businesses. The idea is that people hate touch-tone phone tree customer service calls. Endless email threads are annoying too. People would rather just text asynchronously in a single chat thread. To allow that Facebook is working with an initial set of partners including Everlane and Zulily to change how people contact them. For example, if you buy something through Everlane, but want to modify, track, or return your order, you’ll be able to contact the business through Messenger. And rather than getting individual emails about order confirmation and your order shipping, you’ll be able to opt to get those messages in Messenger. Customer support will be permitted over Messenger thanks to an integration with ZenDesk. Businesses that already use live chat systems for customer support will be able to run that communication over Messenger.
08.12.14. Microsoft enabled video calling between Skype and Lync users. Last year Microsoft enabled Skype-Lync interoperation with text messaging and audio. Today, the video integration also becomes available. Skype users can now video call contacts on Lync, and vice versa, Microsoft announced this morning. To use the now cross-platform video calling feature, you don’t have to do anything differently from before – you just kick off the call the same way you do today. However, video calling is supported only on an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on Android, iOS or Windows and on Skype for Windows desktop. Skype is now working to expand this integration to more platforms, starting with iOS and Android. The change follows a series of deeper integrations between the two products, the latter of which will be rebranded “Skype for Business” sometime in 2015.
15.11.14. Microsoft launches Skype for Web. Skype has brought its instant messaging, voice and video chat service to the browser with a new beta available now. For now it requires you to install a small plug-in to get voice and video calls, but Microsoft promises to bring Real-Time Communications (RTC) support, so you'll be able to use it without any plug-ins. Skype for Web works on Chrome for Windows, IE, Firefox or Safari. Chrome on Chromebooks and non-Windows platforms can use Skype for Web for instant messaging, but not yet for voice and video because the plugin hasn’t been configured for them yet. Skype had already come to the web in one form thanks to a plug-in for Outlook.com launched globally earlier this year, which enabled text, video and voice chat through the company’s web-based email inbox service.