Group video calling is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with years of experience under its belt, Skype is the go-to for many to connect with friends, family and colleagues while socially distancing. Skype is a great option not only because it offers the ability to video chat with up to 50 people at once, but also because it’s available on just about every platform - the same can’t be said for the likes of FaceTime and Google Duo.
For those new to the world of Skype, we break down how to create group video chats on desktop and mobile.
Group video chat on PC, Mac, Linux and web
Whether you’re using Skype on PC, Mac, Linux or web, the process of setting up a group video chat is identical. To get chatting with friends or colleagues on a desktop:
- Open Skype and log in with your credentials.
- Click the New Chat button (the + icon) and click New Group Chat.
- Enter a name for your group - unlike other messaging platforms, this isn’t optional. You can also add a group photo by clicking the Camera icon, but unlike the group name, this isn’t required.
- Click the right arrow to create your group.
- Select the contacts you want to video chat with. You can do this by selecting contacts from your suggested list, or you can use the search function to find a specific person. You can add up to 50 people to a single video chat via Skype, so don’t be shy!
- Click Done to save your changes, and click the Call Group button to get started.
- Once connected to the group call, simply click the video camera icon to turn on your webcam and video chat.
Group video chat on iOS and Android
While the process is a little long-winded if you’re using Skype on desktop, the group video chat experience on iOS and Android is way more streamlined, and doesn’t require you to create a group beforehand. If you want to chat with friends using Skype on iOS or Android:
- Download Skype from the relevant app storefront and log in with your credentials if you haven’t already.
- In the Chat tab, tap the new conversation icon in the top-right - it looks like a pen and paper.
- Select the New Call icon and select the people you’d like to video chat with. As with Skype on desktop, you can invite up to 50 people to a single group video chat on Skype on iOS and Android.
- When you’re ready, tap Call to initiate the chat.
- Once connected, tap the camera icon to turn your selfie camera on and begin video chatting.
If you want to chat with an existing group:
- tap on the chat and tap the video icon in the top-right.
- Tap ‘Ring the Group’ to notify others in the chat that you’d like to video group chat.
- Wait for your friends to join, and enjoy!