If you’ve never heard or used Skype before, now is probably a good time to get acquainted with it. Skype now offer free SkypeOut service in North America. If you’ve never heard of Skype before it is a little program for making free calls over the internet to anyone else who also has Skype.
In the past, it would cost a teeny weeny bit to make calls to landlines and mobile phones. In fact, it still does for those who don’t live in North America. But till end of this year, North Americans can make free calls to numbers within North America.
I signed up for my Skype account when they first launched. But not many people were using it at the time, so it kind of just remained idle on my computer.
Lately though, many are starting to use it and I’ve noticed that more and more are home business owners who would like to have a second number for their business and also have access to cheaper international call rates.
This seems ideal. If you are based in Australia like me, for example, you can subscribe to a US SkypeIn number and even a UK number if you want. And presto, you’ve established an international presence. Your customer in US can call your US SkypeIn number and your client in UK can call your UK SkypeIn number and they only need to pay for a national call while you get to answer your calls from within the Skype program on your computer.
The calls will only come through to you if you are logged into Skype and not busy. If you ARE busy or logged off, your calls will be redirected to the free voicemail that comes with the Skype In service. Yeah, no more calls at 3 in the morning.
Other noteworthy features that have recently been introduced include SkypeCasts which are live, moderated conversations allowing groups of up to 100 people from anywhere in the world to talk to one another. This is a great affordable feature if you’d like to host online conference trainings.
Then there’s the SkypeSMS, where you can send SMS text messages to mobiles.
And look what I found. Check out this cool little Skype possible outlook on PayPal payments via Skype. Things are getting mighty interesting at Skype.
So, while I’d still stick with MSN messenger and Yahoo messenger to chat with friends and family, Skype is the ideal solution for business purposes. All it needs now is integrated fax capabilities and it will shoot to number 1 of my essential must have online tools list.