We all marvel at Facebook, with its roughly 400 million users. For context, consider Skype, which at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 had 560 million registered users, a data point Skype’s chief technology strategist, Jonathan Rosenberg, shared with the attendees of eComm.

We all marvel at Facebook and its number of users, which at last check stood at around 400 million. For context, consider Skype, which at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 had 560 million registered users, a data point Skype’s chief technology strategist, Jonathan Rosenberg, shared with the attendees of the eComm conference currently under way just south of San Francisco.

Skype, when it was still part of eBay, issued quarterly updates but those have now stopped. Nevertheless, here are the latest numbers:

  • Skype added 39 million registered users in the fourth quarter to end the year with a total of 560 million.
  • The number of Skype-to-Skype call minutes totaled 36.1 billion in the final three months of 2009.
  • Skype users made more the 250 billion minutes worth of Skype-to-Skype calls from the time the service was launched through the end of 2009.
  • Skype in 2009 accounted for 12 percent of the world’s international calling minutes, a 50 percent increase over 2008 when it accounted for 8 percent of international calling, according to TeleGeography Research.
  • 36 percent of Skype-to-Skype calls as of the end of the fourth quarter included video — in other words, Skype is going to figure prominently in the video conferencing business, challenging more established players with its no-cost solution. Skype CEO Josh Silverman in a guest post for GigaOM explained why he views video as the future of Skype.

Here are some other random Skype stats:

  • At peak times, 23 million users are logged into Skype (as of March 2010).
  • Skype is available in 29 languages and is used in almost every country around the world.
  • 35 percent of Skype users utilize it for business purposes.

  1. Those are impressive numbers!
    Combine Skype and similar services, the (new) iPhone with video chat, free WiFi…and you realize how much potential there is in the nearly 150 year old telecommunications industry.

  2. Jacob Varghese Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    So what are we missing here? Why did ebay need to unload them?

    1. Ask Meg Whitman, California gubernatorial candidate. It looks to me like her strategy was buy high, sell low, watch someone else buy high again.

  3. I find it interesting that the new HDTVs are starting to include Skype videoconferencing support. Interesting because video conferencing may have always been destined for the living room instead of the den.

    1. Be careful of the use of the term “video conferencing”; currently Skype only supports one-to-one video calling, including on new models of Panasonic, LG and Samsung TV’s

      On the other hand having just listened to an audience participation session on video conferencing at eComm, all multi-party video conferencing still has a way to go to have a satisfactory video conferencing experience. May explain why Skype has yet to introduce video conferencing as a feature.

      1. You are probably right in claiming careful use of the term “video conferencing”. But, Skype on Tv is what most domestic users will be happy with. No special / expensive equipment needed. Switch on the telly and chat. As simple as that.

        I would expect this “chat on tv” to get popular soon, and who knows, this might inspire clones, but also a more natural integration with social services. Perhaps facebook will roll it in. Or Google will dish out a more acceptable form of wave, and this time with live video chat.

        In any case, the telecom-TV convergence will be a happening place in the next couple of years. For sure.

  4. Did anyone ask what percentage of those claimed “560 million” registered users were “real”? That number includes every Skype account that has ever been created since the first beta release – including millions of accounts that have been created for one-time use by the spammers, pornographers and sex-chat-come-on artists who infest Skype space. Every abandoned account, never used account, duplicate account and anything else that has ever been created. Skype could easily make an estimate of “real” accounts, but that does not suit their propaganda purposes.

  5. The one stat given by Jonathan that surprised me is that there are 50 million daily accesses to Skype via the Skype Toolbars in the browsers (IE and FF).

  6. Has anybody used competitors like VoxOX which is more feature rich combining the functionality of Skype and Google Voice? Any other competing services people like? Curious to hear some opinions.

  7. and its still banned in UAE.

  8. Truly impreesive numbers. With 12% of international calls, you can see there is no way but up and up and up for Skype. So long to long distance phone company providers as we know them.

  9. Ummm… The comparison to Facebook is a very bad one. Facebook’s user count is a monthly user count, not registered users. Apples to oranges. I’m sure Facebook has much more registered users than Skype does.

  10. [...] » Skype By the Numbers: It’s Really Big [...]


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