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Skype has a Zoom-like video call function called ‘Meet Now’ – Mashable

In the aughts and early 2010s, Skype dominated the world of video calling. But amid the recent boom in FaceTimes, HouseParties, and Zooms thanks to coronavirus-necessitated social distancing, it’s been nowhere.

On Friday, Skype kindly reminded the world of its existence with a tweet. It turns out that Skype actually has a video chat Zoom-like functionality called Meet Now that doesn’t require having a Skype account or the app — who knew!

It tweeted about the feature with a link to the service and a six second looping video that proves its existence.

Skype Meet Now lets you generate a meeting URL that you can send to participants. It was easy to use in the web-based client. However, when I selected the option of opening the Skype app, the meeting wouldn’t open and I was left with an eternally spinning wheel of death that I just had to exit out of.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre...

Turning and turning in the widening gyre…

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus / mashable

Which brings us to why Skype appears to have missed the boat on the video calling boom. The Verge reports that Skype lost its dominance in video calling thanks to Microsoft’s missteps in managing the design and market position after Microsoft acquired the company in 2011. 

As a user, I find the fact that it’s app-based, and requires a Microsoft account to log in, makes it eternally inconvenient. Throughout the years, I somehow ended up with two Skype accounts — one tied to my email, another my phone number — and I can never seem to log on to the right one, or remember the password for a clunky account I never use for anything else (I know, I need to add Skype to my passwords manager).

Meet when? Oh, now!

Meet when? Oh, now!

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus / mashable

The Meet Now feature seems like a good antidote to those problems. But unfortunately for Skype, with dominant competition coming from Zoom, Google, Facebook, Apple, and HouseParty, it might just be too late. 

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