Zoom vs. Skype — Full Comparison

Zoom vs. Skype — which is better?

Zoom vs. Skype — Full Comparison

Key Points

  • Skype was purchased by eBay in 2005, then by Microsoft in 2011. 
  • Both Skype and Zoom offer robust encryption options, something that is necessary for personal and business use. 
  • Pricing options have changed significantly throughout the history of both platform’s existence but Zoom’s current freemium options have helped to give it more of an advantage over Skype. 
  • While both platforms have cooperated with governmental authorities to mitigate security concerns, they have also been forced to modify their platforms to meet censorship concerns in countries like China. In one case, Zoom was actually accused of violating their own terms of service in order to gain access to the growing Chinese market. 

In today’s business environment, many companies have remote workers. Some of these workers may be local employees and contractors who now work from home some or all of the time. Others may be located in different cities or other countries. Thanks to platforms like Zoom and Skype, meeting in the same “virtual room” is as easy as making a phone call.

These communication tools also make meeting with friends and family a breeze. During the Covid pandemic lockdown, virtual meetings quickly became a safe way for personal users to get together, even though many of them never used these platforms before social distancing was established.

Let’s take a closer look at Zoom and Skype, how they’re similar, how they’re different, and whether one is clearly better than the other.    

Zoom vs. Skype: The Key Differences Explained

Zoom and Skype are both platforms that have gained prominence by being used for audio and video conferences. But when it comes to Zoom vs. Skype, which is better? They have many similarities, including video and audio conferencing, mobile compatibility, paid subscription plans, and more. However, both have emerged in far different positions, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, with Zoom unquestionably becoming more prominent and favored by people in the business world. 

Zoom has become far more popular for many reasons, including its advanced array of features, its highly popular business uses and superior marketing. These differences became particularly acute during the pandemic when Skype lost a large chunk of its business to Zoom. 

Zoom vs. Skype — which of these audio video conference platforms is better and why?
Video conference tools Zoom and Skype have risen in popularity, particularly during the pandemic.


Zoom vs. Skype: Side by Side Comparison

What it isTelecommunications platform that offers videoconferencing and audio callsTelecommunications platform that offers videoconferencing and audio calls
Primary UseVideoconferencing/audio servicesVideoconferencing and massive conferencing services, as well as audio conferencing options
Initial Release20032012
Technical Committeen/an/a
Influential DevelopersNiklas Zennstrom, Janus FriisEric Yuan
Open formatNoNo
Technologies influencedZoom, Popularity of VoIP services, Microsoft TeamsMicrosoft Teams

In Summary

Skype is telemarketing software that allows users to conduct video or audio calls with other uses that are also using the platform. The calls can occur on a phone, computer, or other electronic devices. Skype’s purchase by Microsoft came with leaps and bounds in terms of advances in overall video quality, technological access, and market share. However, of late, Skype has seemingly fallen out of favor for another Microsoft product, Teams. 

Zoom is a similar feature that has more of a business focus. It offers many business plans, features for conferencing, and has increased capacity that allows for major conferences to be held over the platform. This has led to a major increase in its popularity, particularly as the service became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

skype logo
Recently, Skype has been fallen out of favor for Microsoft Teams.

The two platforms do have much in common, including a similar purpose and customer demographic that puts them in direct competition with each other. Furthermore, there are many similarities in terms of data usage (with WiFi helping to eliminate expensive data usage concerns), efforts to provide uses for family and businesses, quality, plans, pricing, and more.

Both offer the ability to record meetings, chat during meetings, background blur, the ability to use from a phone or computer (which, again, can eliminate data usage issues), and more.

However, over time, the two have diverged significantly from each other. Simply put, Zoom has more features. It allows users to blur backgrounds, change the background, access a whiteboard, and create breakout sessions. That last feature is absolutely critical for many business and classroom use, as it allows users to access different rooms and hold different conversations before returning to the main conference.

Zoom vs. Skype: Which is Better?

There seems little question that Zoom is better than Skype. This has occurred in an array of ways. Simply put, Zoom offers more features, more flexibility in terms of its pricing and plans, and greater access for individuals who are looking to make a quick video call without paying. Skype’s lack of a freemium option puts it at a major competitive disadvantage when compared to Zoom. 

Next Up…

Zoom vs. Skype — Full Comparison FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a teleconferencing service that allows for users to hold audio or video calls. It also has a series of options that allow for conferences of up to 1,000 people. Limited free calls lower the barrier to using the service for new customers.

What is Skype?

Skype is another service that allows users to make audio or visual calls. It uses subscriptions plans in terms of pricing, has no free option, and offers much more limited business features.

What is better Skype or Zoom?

In many ways, the services are the same: Both offer similar basic features and have the same quality of calls. However, the robust array of features used by Zoom – as well as the free uses and pricing advantages – put it in a better spot over Skype.

Why are people using Zoom instead of Skype?

There are at least two reasons for this. First, Zoom has different and broader features than Skype, like the ability to put participants in different breakout rooms. Second, Zoom has many free options that Skype simply doesn’t have. Zoom has also benefited from superior marketing and a massive uptick in use – particularly during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What's the difference between Zoom vs Skype?

There are two primary differences between Zoom and Skype, with both coming back to the same basic principle: Skype is a far more basic service. It offers cheap rates for international calls, and in many cases, these calls are cheaper if an individual is looking to have an international call. However, Zoom offers more features, has more mass-conferencing abilities, offers more features, and has free options that can be used for families. Skype simply lacks many of these features, and this puts the service at a competitive disadvantage.

Is Zoom or Skype better for personal use?

When it comes to use for personal or for family uses, there is more of a level playing field. In many cases, users simply will not need the robust array of features that Zoom offers, since it is unlikely that individuals will want to leave a breakout room for a chat with their cousins or need more than 1,000 people to attend the Zoom meeting. However, Zoom still holds an advantage for one key reason: Pricing. Zoom calls of up to forty minutes are free, and Skype does not offer such an option. This makes it preferable.

Why is Zoom more popular than Skype?

In addition to all of the reasons noted above, Zoom’s market growth simply soared over Skype’s during the COVID pandemic. Businesses, of course, were forced to switch to virtual and electronic communication. Zoom offered these options and allowed for many conferences to be switched and held virtually. This helped to make the service far more popular than Skype.

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