I used Skype once.
I had to get in touch with someone living overseas for work, so it made sense to use Skype rather than use a cell phone or landline. It’s not a stretch to see why Microsoft bought the company, especially in this setting. Microsoft has offered a PBX service that could replace corporate telephone systems if, say, it was integrated into Outlook much like how Google Talk is integrated into Google Apps.
So I don’t use Skype much, but my teenage nieces are heavy Skype users. They’re the only ones I have on my Skype list. They don’t have cell phones, but with Skype they can text message and make calls over wifi with their iPod Touches.1
What’s funny about Skype is that they’ve done something that even IM software hasn’t done. You can make audio calls via AIM and Google Talk, but I know nobody who does. They use Skype. People I get email from at work put their Skype handle into their email signatures.
I grew up with two older sisters who were always tying up the goddamn phone. Today that problem doesn’t exist, because nearly every teenage girl has an iPod Touch and Skype. And despite the Facebook integration they don’t really use Facebook.
Why should they? They have Skype.
This was before the FaceTime and iMessage days, but even now I wouldn’t be surprised to see many teenagers running older iOS versions because they can’t update them. They may not have their own computers. ↩