Product Reviews

Connect With Skype With Group Video Chats and More

I use Skype on almost a daily basis, for connecting with hubby while he’s away. It is a great way for the kids to show their dad what they did that day, show off their gymnastics moves or dance moves, and even to show off a new haircut. It can be hard for dad to be away so much, and not feel like he is missing out on our lives. Skype helps to make us feel so much more connected. I also use Skype to connect with my siblings and the kids’ cousins and grandparents.  I have a nephew who is very Skype Savvy and often sends requests for a game of chess or bowling. The kids would sometimes sit and play for a long time. Skype is a great way for cousins to get to know each other, which makes them even more excited when they get to see one another at family reunions.

The photo above shows an infographic about moms and technology. The majority of moms say that technology makes life easier, and I agree. I pay my bills online, connect with friends, family, and all of you! To be able to see my loved ones, while living far away, is priceless.

I thought I knew everything that Skype had to offer, but I was wrong. I recently became aware that you can purchase Skype credits to explore different options. You can make phone calls to landlines or mobile phones, via Skype. You can also make international calls, or even text cell phones! The possibilities are almost endless. One of the coolest features that I found is the group video chat. The group video chat works differently from a conference call, and does take Skype credits to make the function work. You can buy a day pass, if you just want to connect with a group of people for business, holiday, or some random occasion. You can also purchase a monthly pass, if group video chats are something you want to do on a regular basis.

Because tomorrow is Father’s Day, I thought I would use my Skype credits to start a group video chat with my 5 siblings and mom and dad. I have siblings in Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Arizona and California. I thought it would be a neat treat for my dad, to get to see and talk to all of his kids at one time, as if we were all there. We tried it out this morning and it was great! One of my sisters was at my dad’s house at the moment, so we just had the two of them sit at the computer, so we could see them both. It was actually really easy to get all of us on the chat, but once we got into it, we found that not everyone’s video worked, because they needed to upgrade to Skype 5.0. We got my brother upgraded, but my sister has Linux and could not upgrade. Other than one of my sisters, whose voice we could hear, but couldn’t see, we got to see everyone else. Some of my siblings had their kids in the video too, which was fun. Once a few of us got our headsets on, it cut down on some of the background noise, and we could hear each other pretty well.
group chat with Skype

We even had a little fun with having one of my brothers get on three computers. He had a son on one screen, a daughter on another screen, and him on one. Then we would all laugh while we had him jump from screen to screen. We had a blast! You can actually get up to 10 people on a group video chat! You can have all videos displayed at the same size, or you can change the view so that who ever is talking the most, or the loudest, their video will be made bigger at the top of the screen. So whoever has the floor, so to speak, will be up top while everyone else’s screens are slightly smaller and across the bottom. I thought it was a very cool feature.

While we had everyone on Skype, we had my dad open up his Father’s Day present, which was some college football tickets for the Fall. BYU will be playing in San Jose, CA this Fall, so we just knew he’d love to go. I think he was excited about his gift, and without the group video chat, we wouldn’t have all gotten to share that moment with him. Isn’t technology great?

Be sure to download Skype, and explore all of the fabulous possibilities! Remember, Skype is free to download!


“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Skype. I received Skype credits to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

About the author

Emily Buys


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