Stop what you’re doing and head to the breakroom for cake. Skype is 10 years old today and they’re celebrating in the Hobbit way by giving gifts instead of getting them.
The story begins on August 29, 2003 when Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis came up with a tool that would eventually connect more than 300 million people worldwide. They don’t like tooting their own horn but when you compare Skype’s rise in popularity to that of two other massive communication devices. . . well. . . the chart makes it pretty clear.
Take that Alexander Graham Bell!
Skype users have logged more than 1.4 trillion minutes of voice and video chats. I’m responsible for about one tenth of that usage, so I expect my personal thank you to show up any minute.
But Skype isn’t only for frivilous fan girl chatting. It’s also been used to make some pretty incredible calls.
You’ve made Skype calls from the top of Mount Everest and research stations in Antarctica, provided essential support to refugee camps while keeping in touch with loved ones back home, and even seen orangutans enjoy video calls. It’s truly a small miracle that troops in the field get to witness the birth of their children and entire classrooms get to take the ultimate field trip to the opposite ends of the earth. We feel so privileged to have been part of these experiences and never cease to be amazed with all the ways the world uses Skype!
I know you’re going to think I’m exaggerating, but Skype was a life changer for me because it’s given me the opportunity to talk with people all over the world for free. (Hello Australia!) No more shocking $300 phone bills!
Time for the gift giving. To celebrate their 10 years, Skype is offering everyone 30 minutes of free Skype WiFi! You must per-register by signing in to your Skype account between August 29 and September 1. You’ll then have 30 days to use the credit.
They’re also encouraging everyone to share their favorite Skype memories on the Skype Moment Maker page. Maybe I should go over and tell my story – from SoCal to Downunder with the click of a mouse.
Happy birthday, Skype. Even though I’m about to get on a Google Hangout, you’re still first in my heart.