Skype vs WhatsApp

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Time to Read | 4 mins

Skype vs WhatsApp: Comparing the two prominent communication services

 When comparing Skype and WhatsApp, it is important that you get the details of both platforms in order to make an informed decision. WhatsApp was designed for mobile devices, while Skype was primarily a computer-to-computer application that could call other phones as well. Things have progressed and are more advanced now. Some people prefer WhatsApp, while others prefer Skype.

WhatsApp has contributed immensely to allowing people to use VoIP technology that allows you to make free video and voice calls worldwide on their smartphones. Skype has done the same job for computers.

We have reviewed both platforms to help you decide which one suits you the most.

 Skype

Skype is a software that facilitates users to have a conversation with anyone across the globe. It is mostly preferred by businesses for making free video group or one-to-one calls, sharing files, and sending instant messages to others. It can be used on a computer, smartphone, and tablet. Skype is free software designed by Microsoft, which is free to download and use. It is more for the computer user, who wants stability, quality, features, and added sophistication to their communication experience.

 WhatsApp

WhatsApp is an instant messaging mobile application, which lets you communicate with your phone contacts. Besides sharing media files and messaging, you can share your live location, contacts, have group chats, send voice messages, and make voice and video calls over the app. While WhatsApp can also be accessed via computers upon scanning the QR code, it is meant for mobile users. WhatsApp gives you a friendly tone where you can share messages with your friends and have fun texting.

Skype and WhatsApp comparison infographic

Let’s understand each of these aspects in detail.

 Skype vs WhatsApp – Number of users

This is an important parameter in free calling. Free VoIP communication is offered only between users of the same platform. That means the more people that use a specific communication service, the better are your chances of communicating for free.

Skype was introduced long before WhatsApp. Originally, whoever had a computer connected via Skype, but now times have changed. The presence has shifted towards smartphones from desktops.

WhatsApp is currently ruling the market with an estimated 1.5 billion users as of 2017. Skype has an estimated 1.33 billion users as of 2017. WhatsApp has dwarfed the number of Skype users. This is the main reason why it is interesting to know the popularity of the leading communication platforms based on their user base.

 Skype vs WhatsApp – Access to contacts

When comparing both the communication apps, it is crucial to determine how easy it is to reach and contact an individual you want to talk to.

In the case of Skype, you need to get the individual’s Skype name. This may require prior sharing to take place between you and the individual. Either you can search for a name in the search list, or you can use the nickname of the individual to identify the user.

In the case of WhatsApp, if you have saved the contact information (phone number) of the individual on your mobile phone, you can directly contact them on WhatsApp. That means no unique ID, username or any prior sharing of details is required.

The best part is you don’t have to have a separate contact list for WhatsApp, making it much easier to access contacts. For Skype, you will need a separate buddy list. Your phone’s contact list serves the purpose for WhatsApp.

 Skype vs WhatsApp – Call quality

While WhatsApp does provide you with decent call quality, many users have complained about echoing and call drops. Skype, on the other hand, is the best on the VoIP market when it comes to call quality. Skype uses its own codec for call encoding that refines this part of the service. The best part is that Skype even offers HD voice calls.

Skype offers the best call quality, and this is the reason why it is mostly preferred by businesses all across the globe for hassle-free communication. While factors such as bandwidth, the VoIP hardware equipment you use, weather conditions, device frequencies, location of your hardware, compression, etc., can affect the call quality, you can perform some simple troubleshooting steps when Skype doesn’t work. This is not possible with WhatsApp.

 Skype vs WhatsApp – The cost of data consumption

While the communication services are free for both WhatsApp and Skype, it requires a proper internet connection for making calls and sending messages. So, as far as the price is concerned, it primarily depends on data consumption. Although Skype offers great call quality, it comes with the price of higher data consumption.

A minute on a Skype call will consume more data than a minute on a WhatsApp call. If you are using WiFi, it doesn’t matter a great deal. However, for your 3G or 4G plan, a Skype call can take a toll on your data usage.

So it is advised to choose your data plan accordingly. If cost matters more than quality, WhatsApp calling is the best since it costs less and offers a decent call quality.

 Skype vs WhatsApp – User interface

The user interface is one aspect where the communication service either grabs the crown or is uninstalled from the device. Users demand smooth and fluid navigation through the platform, making UI equally important.

When it comes to WhatsApp’s UI, it has been the forerunner in the simplicity department. There is no need for constant logging in and logging out. Opening the app will greet you with a chat listing where you get all your recent chats. By swiping left, you will get all your call logs. It is quite easy and straightforward to operate WhatsApp.

On the contrary, Skype requires a separate account for logging in. It is more complex than WhatsApp. It offers a dark menu and chatbots for easy phone calls. It looks more professional than WhatsApp.

Final verdict 

Which communication service you choose depends on your situation. Skype is the winner if you prefer stellar call quality and a wealth of features. WhatsApp is your best bet to make free calls if your friends and family use it.

Simply put, Skype has a business bent since it offers collaboration tools, screen and file sharing, conference video calling, and more. WhatsApp is best for daily informal use.

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