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Brief Description

Skype is a commercial voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that allows you to talk to other people by using the internet instead of a landline or mobile telephone.


Skype has made voice-to-voice interactions easy and affordable. Previously, people were reluctant to have phone meetings because of the long distance costs involved. Now, if all participants have a good internet connection, they can talk for free. Skype can also be used to make a low-cost call from a computer to a telephone.

While Skype was developed as a voice application, the platform has added other tools over time. Most importantly, it has an integrated chat. Many people who don't have sufficient bandwidth for the voice application still use Skype as an instant messenger and a chat room.

Skype allows you to easily see which of your colleagues from your contact list are online at any given time, enabling you to initiate a chat, or a voice call, or a video conference, and share files at the same time. In short, Skype is a full-featured collaboration tool.

Skype was created by Finnish entreprenuers and was bought by eBay in 2005.

When to use

  • For voice-to-voice conversations involving up to a maximum of 25 people.
  • As an online presence tool to let your team or network members know when you are online and available.
  • As a chat room to take notes or have additional layers of conversation during a voice call.
  • As an ongoing team chat space (leave open all day with all members).
  • For sharing files.
  • For small group video conferencing, up to a maximum of 10 people.
  • To provide free connection into some land-line telephone conferencing systems such as http://www.highspeedconferencing.com

How to use

Tips and Lessons Learnt

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Examples & Stories

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Who can tell me more?

  • Sophie Treinen (sophie.treinen [at] fao.org)
  • Gauri Salokhe (gauri.salokhe [at] fao.org)
  • Elena Di Paola (elena.dipaola [at] fao.org)

Related Methods / Tools / Practices


From the 25Tools Tutorials


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