Video: Skype vs Viber
Last updated: July 17, 2018
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.
Viber is a mobile app that provides free international calls and text messages to other Viber users using 3G or Wi-Fi. Uses your existing contact list - check out which of your phone contacts and friends is already on Viber so that you can call and text them for free.
Face to face in the news:
2016 - Microsoft launched free Skype Meetings for small business - a new advantage over Viber
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.
2014 - Viber adds public chats to stand out over Skype
Messaging app Viber is launching a new social feature - Public Chats, giving users a way of using its direct messaging and voice services to broadcast to the world at large. Public Chats will see the introduction of live conversation streams — from celebrities, or other interesting people, that will be open for any follower to see, but not necessarily participate in. Users will only be able to jump in and talk in Public Chats if the account in question is in their contacts. Right now, there is no option for everyone to enable their streams to become part of the public mix but those who feel their chats are Public Chat-worthy can email firstname.lastname@example.org
2011 - Viber takes on Skype with free HD VoIP calls
When VoIP-telephony lived mostly on desktops, it is difficult to imagine that someone could become a serious competitor for Skype. Even Google failed to solve this task. But now when the VoIP market is rapidly expanding to mobile devices, Skype can't feel so confident any more. Unlike the world of computers (where it was possible to develop single Windows-client), the world of mobile platforms is much more complicated. First, there are many of them, and second - it needs to develop the other VoIP technology. Therefore, the old rivals and even new startups are trying to take on Skype in the mobile VoIP sphere. Viber - is one of the newcomers. This service launched at the end of last year and has already attracted several millions of users. So by means of what Viber is going to beat Skype?
The answer is very simple - call quality. Though Skype is considered one of the most high-quality IP-telephony services, it's far from ideal yet. And Viber wants to make the call quality its main competitive advantage. For this, they partnered with russian company SPIRIT, that develops VoIP / video platforms for Enterprise and carriers. In particular SPIRIT pays special attention to Voice over 3G/4G technologies. It is interesting that in the time of Friis/Zennstrom SPIRIT was one of the Skype's technology partners.
For now Viber only works only on iPhone. It allows to make free calls over Wi-Fi and 3G to your contacts who have Viber installed. Unlike Skype, Viber identified users by phone number. It's enough to send a message to your contact and then you can call him for free from the iPhone contacts list. In the near future Viber developers plan to release versions for Blackberry and Android, as well as free SMS tool.
2009 - Skype to buy Gizmo5 and deploy SIP/Jabber? to compete with Viber
Skype, that is struggling now against Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, has two backup plans. The first - is to rebuild the back end themselves, and the second - is to acquire some existing technology. It turn out, that Skype moves in both directions. The company is hiring VoIP experts (like crazy) for their internal project, named Gecko. But this project is probably not progressing as quickly as Skype needs it to. Today multiple sources announced that Skype is in negotiations to acquire its little rival Gizmo5, that uses open protocols SIP and Jabber in its p2p VoIP network. The price tag is said to be in the $50 million range.
It's interesting that Gizmo5 has got its popularity thanks to imaginary competition with Skype. Gizmo5 founder/CEO, Michael Robertson, has taken every opportunity to take swipes at Skype, trying to convince one and all that his SIP-based service was better than Skype. Nevertheless, Gizmo's user base is now approximately 100 times smaller than Skype's one.
Except this small drop to user base and back end VoIP technology, Skype has two more reasons to buy Gizmo5. First is OpenSky (service by Gizmo5, that enables SIP-to-Skype and Skype-to-SIP calls) that proves Gizmo developers' expertise in Skype technology. Second, Gizmo's partnership with Google Voice for SIP-to-PSTN calls. This tandem is quite dangerous for Skype market share.
Of course, Skype's move to SIP/Jabber sounds very exciting - it's a promise for the global VoIP interoperability. But it will be a very difficult project for Skype. It would cost a lot of money and developer efforts to redesign Skype network. Besides, unlike Skype technology, SIP isn’t able to do all calls over P2P and produces high load on provider's servers. This will obviously reduce the service reliability. Moreover, SIP requires faster internet speed and often has problems with firewall - that are the problems, that Skype users can face with.