Skype is one of the most popular internet communication services in the world. It has been in business since 2003. During the years of its existence it has been sold a couple of times, and both times for a substantial amount of money. So what does Skype offer? One of the main features that draw so many to the service is the fact that one can make free calls both to local users and to international users through their computers. Skype also offers video conferencing, file transfers, screen sharing, instant messaging and other services all for free. As a matter of fact, most of the services that Skype offers are free. With all these free features, what makes Skype such a valuable company, how does it make any money if most of its services are free?
Skype does not rely on advertising to generate its income, as many online services do. Rather, Skype generates its revenues from plans that allow communication with landlines and mobile devices. These services are available to those who use Skype for personal issues as well as those who use Skype to run their business through. Plans can range from pay as you go, to monthly plans that cover an unlimited usage amount. These plans generate the majority of the revenue that Skype receives. Being as there are always people that do not have Skype that one needs to contact, whether thru personal or business needs, it is expected that this number will continue to increase.
Skype also provides services to partners and third party agents around the world, and thru these contracts they also generate a substantial amount of revenue. Some larger companies use Skype to route their calls, to provide reports and maintain other services that are needed by their company. They also can purchase customized video conferencing and other features specifically designed for their business. There are fees associated with these types of unique services as well.
Skype also has plans that allow for sending and receiving of SMS or phone text messages. For a fee, one can send an SMS from their computer to a telephone that accepts SMS messages. They can also receive an SMS message on Skype from a telephone. This is a pay only service, and due to the popularity of text messaging, this is becoming a feature that more and more people are interested in using. These few areas are ways in which Skype generates an income. It may seem like small amounts but when one has over 350 million registered users, it all adds up rather quickly.