If you’ve used your Skype app lately, you’ll notice something TechCrunch wrote up the other day – if you’re a freeloading Skyper, you better like ads.
That is to say, those who use Skype without adding credits to their account or subscribing to a premium Skype service, will now get to see ads placed within the app. For now the ads are for other Skype-owned services, but TechCrunch says that other third-party ads will begin to appear soon.
There are two ways to handle this news. You can go about your daily routine, barely noticing in the first place that a tiny ad has been placed in your Skype app, or you can throw a fit and look for other alternatives for your video chatting needs. For the sake of my word count, let’s assume you take option B and just want to explore the rest of the video chat field.
Plenty of intriguing options abound, not the least of which is the free Qik Video app. Coincidentally, Skype recently acquired Qik Video. While it still has plenty of great features, including the ability to video chat freely between Android phones and iPhones, you’ll now have to pay a monthly fee of $4.99 to use the premium features. Those features include unlimited storage options for video, and the ability to upload videos from your iPhone to a cloud server.
If you’re interested in connecting for video chats via Facebook, WeTalk for Facebook ($0.99) should do the trick. The app gives you the option to have chats, video, and voice calls with other Facebook friends as long as you both have the app installed. Other than the download price, the video calls are free, which makes WeTalk a pretty nice deal. The only way this might be a frustrating app is if you want to video chat with friends who aren’t on Facebook. But would they be worth chatting with at all if that were the case?
Maybe that weird friend of yours has a Gmail account? There’s hope for your video chatting hopes yet. The free Vtok app lets you video chat over your iPhone using your Google accounts. All the pleasures of video chatting while you idly answer email, without all of the hassle of pretending you really want to answer those emails!
But if you want a new video chat option that isn’t connecting to any of your existing social networks or email addresses, you can try ooVoo Video Chat (free). ooVoo has its own account, so you’ll have to sign-up and get other people to sign-up with you, but then you can video chat to your heart’s content. Much like similar apps, you can also switch to text chat during the call if you’re not feeling like showing off your face so much.
Personally, I’ll probably keep my Skype app in addition to picking up WeTalk for Facebook and Vtok, because I absolutely need more of a reason to be connected to Gmail and Facebook. But if you don’t feel the same, at least you know there are plenty of other options out there for you. Just keep it clean, for everyone’s sake.