Skype upstaged by Microsoft Teams
Satya Nadella in New Delhi, India.
Ramesh Pathania | Mint | Getty Images
When Microsoft-owned LinkedIn said last month that it would add a video-calling feature to direct messages, it said it would start allowing users to kick off calls through Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Verizon-owned Blue Jeans.
Skype, Microsoft’s third-biggest acquisition after LinkedIn and Nokia, was left out.
The effort stemmed from a project engineers developed for a Covid-response hackathon LinkedIn held earlier this year. LinkedIn employees use Blue Jeans internally, and they also chose to incorporate “the other most popular services, Zoom and, in our own backyard, Teams,” Chris Szeto, senior director of product, told CNBC. LinkedIn employees worked with the team behind Microsoft Teams to build the integration, Szeto said.
The absence of Skype in the implementation exemplifies the video-calling service’s diminishing presence in a year when competitors became more prominent than ever, as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to connect online. Skype is still around — it’s just been upstaged.
Skype did get a boost from the virus. In March Microsoft said that Skype had 40 million daily active users, up 70 percent from the previous month. But even at Microsoft, it’s not the star. In April the company said Teams had amassed 75 million daily active users.
More recently, Skype has lagged behind its competitors. The Skype iPhone app failed to crack the top 200 apps ranked on Apple’s App Store in August and September, according to data from app-analytics company AppAnnie, while Zoom for iPhone never left the top 20 and Google Meet was generally in the top 100.
Microsoft has brought out many Teams updates this year, including some, such as breakout rooms and support for up to 1,000 meeting participants, designed to help stave off newcomer Zoom, whose usage spiked during the