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Summary:

Skype has released a new beta that supports video calling with up to five people — great news for web workers, as it should make conducting remote meetings a lot easier.

Skype has released a new beta that supports video calling with up to five people — great news for web workers, as it should make conducting remote meetings a lot easier. While there are plenty of services that already offer group video chat (TinyChat, for example), Skype’s existing popularity could make it a more natural choice.

One thing to note is that group video calling will be a premium feature (so perhaps it will be rolled up into Skype’s new subscription calling plans), although it’s free to try during the beta. But it’s only a beta, so it’s probably best not to rely on it for critical business meetings as it might not work perfectly. And everyone you call will need to have the new software installed. It’s currently available for Windows only; a Mac beta should be out later this year.

Let us know what you think of the new group video calls in the comments.

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  1. And, coming soon, and due to internet pressure – Skype Betty – http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d4/Lucanos/SkypeBetty.jpg

  2. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for Skype to come out with them. What I’m really looking forward to is using it for online D&D sessions with our out of town friends… :-)

  3. Quotes About Life Sunday, May 16, 2010

    I think they are still working out some bugs in this. I was speaking to someone the other day, and they use Skype now entirely in place of their normal landline phones. They apparently are using an audio call feature where they can even place local calls just from their laptops. Amazing stuff.

  4. Goober: IM, Social Networks, Voice and Video Chat Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    [...] video communication arena, of course, is Skype, which has just rolled out a Windows-only beta of group video chats. Google Talk already offers video chat, and its acquisition of Gizmo5 will certainly result in [...]

  5. Ubiquitous Video Chat Seen As Imminent – OCSEA Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    [...] likely to see a rapid acceleration of innovation in video chatting tools as demand rises  — Skype’s recent addition of group video chat is just the start. Developers will also start to integrate video features into many existing tools, enhancing their [...]

  6. Open Thread: What New Business Products Should Skype Roll Out? Monday, August 9, 2010

    [...] collaborative capabilities of its product of late — adding features such as file transfers, multi-person video calls and screensharing — a more full-featured, robust web conferencing offering could be on the [...]

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