Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2011 and has since been given a couple of serious face-lifts and updated for accuracy and relevance.
It is no longer possible to sign in to Skype using your Facebook credentials as of January 2018.
Microsoft announced the decision to discontinue this authentication method back in 2017 with an explanation that they wanted to create a single sign-on experience to all of its services. In other words, a single sign in using a Microsoft account now enables users to seamlessly login to Skype, Office Online, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and other services.
At first, this decision alienated numerous Skype users, since it meant that users who didn’t own a Microsoft account needed to open one in order to continue using the messaging platform.
That also implied a lot of humdrum work for the users, like migrating contacts and chat history, all at the expense of the overall users’ satisfaction. It is no secret that people are sensitive to change. Being faced with an additional sign up process, and having to remember yet another login credentials, can indeed be frustrating, regardless of the possible benefits it could have.
Nevertheless, Microsoft continued with their work on improving Skype. Facebook, on the other hand, also carried on with upgrading their messaging app and platform – Facebook Messenger.
Since there’s no way of deciding which platform is better as they both have their own pros and cons, we thought of doing something more beneficial for you.
We’ll try to show you what are some of the cool features of Skype and Messenger and why you should USE BOTH apps.
Skype is the veteran telecom app available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and browsers. Generally speaking, we could say that people tend to use Skype for video calls.
The original idea of using the Internet to make FREE video and audio calls, and chat with people across the world Skype-to-Skype is still in force. 🙂 Also, you can make domestic and international calls and send messages to landlines and mobile numbers.
This feature seems to give Skype a more business appeal so companies use it for their internal and external communication. The ability to add up to 20 people in a group conversation makes it great for small businesses, and for more advanced features, there are Skype Meetings and Skype for Business.
Skype Meetings is currently available to users in the US. They can use it to stay connected with 10 team members at once and has practical features like screen share, laser pointer, and collaborative whiteboard.
With Skype for Business, on the other hand, you can have online meetings with up to 250 people and it comes with enterprise-level security for $2 per month per user. However, Microsoft is slowly nudging its customers over to Teams and it’s planning to cancel Skype for Business until July 31, 2021.
Security-wise, chats and audio calls support end-to-end encryption. You can activate this feature by going to a user’s profile and selecting Private Conversation and all that the other users need to do is accept your request.
A cool thing about Skype is that you can add a Skype Contact button on your website or blog, which is great if you want to make it easier for your readers or customers to contact you. And the Skype Share button on your website can deliver your content or information into a chat format.
Skype Translator is a brilliant solution as it translates voice calls, messages and video calls in real-time! Voice translator is available in 10 languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Arabic, and Russian, while text translator is available in more than 60 languages at the moment!
Last but not least, Skype works with the Xbox and Amazon’s Echo.
Even though the app is available on Android, iOS, and browser “only”, Facebook Messenger has an incredible number of 1.3 billion users worldwide.
Although you can make video and audio calls with the app, Messenger supporters seem to use it more to chat with their contacts. There is a maximum of 250 members in a group, and you can have group calls with up to 50 people. Making calls to landlines is not possible, and you can’t make regular calls to mobile numbers if they’re not synced with Messenger as well.
When it comes to privacy and security, Messenger also has the end-to-end encryption option which needs to be activated by selecting Secret Conversation from the user profile you want to contact.
People who use Messenger can also play in-app games with their friends and users in the US can even send or receive peer-to-peer payments through a connected bank-issued debit card or Facebook gift card.
It’s not just fun and games, though, because you can use some in-app features to make everyday tasks easier too.
Need a hand with managing your holidays or finding useful recommendations? There are many chatbots businesses use as automated customer service agents and you can easily find them on the compass icon on the app.
Do you need to remind your partner to buy groceries or meet up with a friend? Just tap the four-dot icon, select Reminders, add all the necessary info and a reminder will be sent in the chat.
Yeah, your own PA.
Speaking of chatbots, brands and companies also use Facebook Messenger to deepen their relationships with their customers. With interesting features like Instant Replies, business owners can send automated messages to anyone who messages their page before they get round to reply personally. The Away Messages and Saved Replies allow businesses to let customers know that they will respond ASAP and send replies to frequently asked questions.
There are also M.ME Messenger links which is a feature that businesses can use to create a short and memorable link (m.me/username) that, when clicked or typed in, opens a conversation with that business in Messenger. By using .ME domain to coin the short link phrase Message ME, the outcome is twofold – it doesn’t only invite to action, but also has a personalised approach to it.
Now, one more handy Messenger feature for the road. Did you know you can integrate Messenger into a website through various plugin-ins? The Customer chat plugin puts a Messenger button on your website and enables customers to open a conversation in Messenger, and through the Checkbox plugin, a checkbox can appear in forms and people can opt-in to receive messages and updates from brands through this messaging app.
Also, Messenger has advertising solutions where business ads are run on the home screen of the Messenger app. There are options like Click-to-Messenger ads that allow customers to contact your business and sponsored messages that enable businesses to interact with customers.
To Sum It All Up
As you can see, both Skype and Facebook Messenger are great telecom applications that you can use depending on what you need. If you need to communicate with your team on a day-to-day basis, conduct interviews or make video calls, Skype might be a better choice. And if you want to have fun with your contacts through in-app games or expand your marketing strategy and reach your customers, Facebook Messenger can help you start that conversation.