Google Hangouts vs Skype
Last updated: July 17, 2018
Google Hangouts is a live video chat app. It allows to share your screen, collaboratively draw on a whiteboard, edit Google Docs documents, create broadcasts for the unlimited number of viewers. Splitted into group chat app and videoconferencing app. Secure Google Hangouts alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
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.
Face to face in the news:
2014 - Microsoft launches Skype for Web to stand out over Google Hangouts
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.
2014 - Google Hangouts will no longer require a plugin for Chrome to take on Skype
Starting next week video conferencing service Google Hangouts will work in Chrome without the need to install any plugin. Other Hangout-compatible browsers (IE/Firefox/etc.) will still need the plugin — but Chrome will now have Hangouts support baked right in. Between the transition to HTML5, new cross-browser protocols like webRTC, and even platforms like Unity trying to go plugin free, it’s going to be really, really hard to convince users to install plugins moving forward — so if your big idea requires one, you’ll want to find another way.
2013 - Google unites GTalk and Hangouts to strike back at Skype
Google engineers have so much work to do (mostly for Google Glass), that they simply don't have time to fix other (useful) products. For several years we have been waiting when Google finally unites its separated communication services in order to create competitive Skype alternative. And finally, they spent few weeks and implemented the half of this task. Google Talk messenger is now replaced by Google Hangouts videochat. Google has released two Hangouts mobile apps: for Android and iOS. In addition, Hangouts is available in GMail and Google+. All your Hangouts chat apps are synchronized, so you can start conversation on your computer (in GMail) and continue it out of the office on your phone. In chat you can insert pictures and videos from Youtube. Video chat supports up to 10 people simultaneously. Unfortunately, for now Google had not time to unite Hangouts with Google Voice. So you can't send SMS in Hangouts and make voice calls. You can either send a message or make video call. No voice calls yet.
2011 - Google Hangouts adds real-time code-collaboration. Skype keeps calm
An open source software engineer, Mohamed Mansour, has created an extension for Google+ Hangouts - Hangout Pad for Google+, which allows you to collaborate on the text (or program code) while communicating in video chat. Although this extension is still to buggy, it's very interesting for several reasons. First, it doesn't use the official Google + API (because it doesn't exist so far). Hangout Pad is a plug-in for Google Chrome browser and embeds into Hangouts video chat using a complex hack (via Google Shared Spaces and Google Wave protocol). However, this tool shows the opportunities of expanding Google Hangouts (beware Skype!). The collaboration window (in this case the code editor) is located above the user video streams and it can contain anything. In addition, it is a cool demonstration of the future integration between Google Hangouts and Google Docs.
2011 - Web video chat: Google Hangouts vs Facebook Skype
A great battle between Google and Skype (Microsoft) for the video calling market continues on a new platform - the Social Web. Last week Google launched (in Beta) their social network Google + and one of it's features is the group video chat Hangouts. And yesterday the built-in Skype-based video chat appeared in Facebook. Both video chat apps work directly in browser, which signals about the transition of video calling applications to web-technologies (although both apps require the installation of a small browser plug-in).
Google Hangouts allows to organize video calls for up to 10 simultaneous participants, and it's free. The main video stream is automatically switched depending on who is talking at the moment. Unlike Skype, Google Hangouts uses open technologies and third-party applications and web services will soon be able to "participate" in the video calls. Obviously, Google Hangouts soon will appear in Google Apps, because it's a great tool for business meetings.
Facebook's Skype video chat allows you to make only one-to-one video calls. Because Skype is making money on group video calls. Everything is simple with this video chat. On your friend profile you press the Video button and launch the video chat (without installing Skype client and without entering your Skype login). But if you multiply this simplicity on 750 million Facebook users, it becomes clear that Skype has made a huge step forward.
2010 - Google may outgo Skype by means of mobile video
Video chat in GTalk (or more exactly, in GMail) has appeared more than a year ago. And we were confident that Skype will get the very strong competitor. Nevertheless, Skype's market share hasn't suffered at all. Even GMail users mainly continue using Skype for video calls. Probably, it's a question of a habit and Skype's great popularity. And perhaps, when Google adds calls to regular phones with the help of acquired Gizmo5 - this won't also change anything. Without offering some new revolutionary features, pushing Skype from the market will be extremely difficult. Especially now, when Skype introduced group video calling. However, it seems Google has a new idea. Today the company announced the acquisition of Swedish developer of VoIP and videoconferencing solutions - GIPS. GIPS technologies are used in Yahoo Messenger, Cisco WebEx and Lotus Sametime. And in addition, GIPS has created the best engine for video chat on Android.
Mobile video now seems geeky. But perhaps soon it will become a feature that most people can't live without. This is where Google has a chance to outgo Skype. The mobile market is very difficult now - a lot of (closed) platforms, a lot of operators who do not like VoIP. But Google has a great advantage - Android. In addition, soon, probably Google will unveil own tablet, which will be perfect for mobile video. So Google's position on the mobile video market looks more preferable. And if mobile video will become the tail wagging the dog, then the traditional videoconferencing market will be also reshaped.