Skype's popularity continues to grow as online phone calls soar

Skype's popularity continues to grow as online phone calls soar

According to figures released by telecommunications firm TeleGeography, Skype continues to become more and more popular. And the increase in popularity is not small -- between 2012 and 2013, international Skype to Skype calls rocketed by around 36 percent. The number of international phone calls being made in general is on the up, but Skype's gains are well above those seen from landline and mobiles which stands at around 7 percent over the same period.

Microsoft's ever-popular online messaging and calling service is available for a wide range of platforms, including desktop and mobile devices, and its widespread availability -- coupled with the fact that people are looking for ways to save money these days -- helps to account for the increase in usage. All told, 2013 saw a staggering 214 billion minutes of calls made Skype to Skype.

These numbers are already good news for Microsoft, but looked at in terms of increase things are even more impressive. Put together the traffic increases enjoyed by all of the telecommunication companies in the world, and Skype has gained 50 percent more than all of them combined. As TeleGeography points out, this is good going for a service that is already ten years old and faces competition from ever more IM and VoIP tools.

"2013 saw a staggering 214 billion minutes of calls made Skype to Skype"

Despite the popularity of computer and mobile based communications, it's unlikely that the humble landline is going anywhere soon. TeleGeographyanalyst Stephen Beckert said: "No other network comes close to matching the global reach of the PSTN (public switched telephone network). While Facebook has approximately 1.2 billion monthly users, at year-end 2013, the PSTN connected to just over 8 billion fixed and mobile subscribers worldwide."

Do you fit into these statistics? Do you find that you are using Skype more than in the past, and do you choose to use it in place of making a regular phone call?

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