by Carlo Longino

Skype Comes Clean(er) On Its Number of Users

from the one-two-four-five dept

There are plenty of questions dogging Skype as the stories about its potential sale for crazy amounts of money make the rounds. Most of these are predicated on a few great unknowns -- how much revenue the company is actually generating, but more importantly, how many users it really has. Part of the Skhype mystique is that the company's more keen to pump how many times its software's been downloaded rather than how many actual users it has. When one of the company's investors popped off that he wouldn't consider offers for it of less than $1 billion, we noted that Skype only had 1.7 million paying users. The company claimed at the time it had 45 million total users, and we also noted it was unclear just how Skype was counting them. It's a little more clear today, as the company says it's passed 150 million downloads and 50 million "registered Skype Names". Note that it's not calling them users, it's just the number of names that have been registered. One thing is clear: the download number Skype puts at the top of its Web site is pretty meaningless if only a third of those downloads are converted into usernames. As far as actual users, it's somewhere between the 50 million registered names and the 1.7 million paying customers.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Marco, Aug 17th, 2005 @ 2:55pm

    How pitiful

    Downloads is the most ridiculous way to count users. The same user might download a product many times, for reasons such as: switching computers, reformated, school computer (hehe), etc... Skype is full of it, honestly. They hide the actual user count to rip off investors.

    Also, it wouldn't be too hard for them to simply count the number of account used in the last, say, 3 months. I know I'm one that likes to download, register, mess around with, and then never use something again.

    This is why the firefox downloads count is meaningless as well, it means nothing, anyone can set up a script that downloads firefox all day and then that shows up as downloads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2005 @ 12:03am

    Re: How pitiful

    the firefox download metric is important: we want to see how many copies have been picked up by unsuspecting dopes before THAT project is similarly dropped -- expect it some time after all the easy problems have been fixed and there's no more theming or eye candy left in the queue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Eduardo, Aug 18th, 2005 @ 7:49am



    I cannot agree with yuor concerns. Keep in mind that Skype have two well separated services. One for PC-to-PC costless VoIP service and I think with users, mainly at Central, South America and Europe. Other, for Normal PC-to-telephony (SkypeOut) service that have a cheap cost for who lives outside Canada and USA.
    May should be hard to understand how Skype is very important and, cheaper too, for who pays 10x more, in average, tham who lives in Canada/USA.

    So, I realy believe in the 50 ilions of users and think that the number of 1.7 milions to SkypaOut is understimate.

    Regards and Keep up the great job!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    DL, Aug 19th, 2005 @ 5:45am

    One use of Skype

    I'm a paying customer of Skype (in the U.S.), but I barely use it during the regular course of the day. What I did was pay for SkypeIn (which comes with voicemail). This gave me another local telephone number that I can give out to people that I don't want to have my regular number, but I still may need to get messages from. It was 30 euros (or US$36.68) for 12 months, or about US$3.05 a month... basically the best deal I could find.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Kinergy, Feb 5th, 2006 @ 3:42am

    Daily Skype Statistics and Skype Usage

    Hi, I just ran across your paragraph on the topic and wanted to mention that since the acquisition of Skype I have put in place a server collecting Skype data and plotting it daily, http://www.skypestats.com.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    jarek, Mar 18th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    co robisz

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    jarek, Mar 18th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    co robisz

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    val, May 31st, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    i need customer service telephone number, skype in usa (1800 )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    janice, Jun 22nd, 2007 @ 12:08am

    suggest to use Coogee

    I suggest you can try Coogee program, it's like Skype, but got more features, such as send bigger size file to friends, and most importatly, it's free. you can download from their website, http://www.mycoogee.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Jiminy Crocket (king of the wild frontier!), Jul 19th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Thank you very much for 'digging up' this very "informative" bit of informative facts about--- "SKYPE"......and I'm sure the info is all very true and accurate! But SO WHAT??? So much of petty stuff goes on in every company on earth almost. What you have mentioned isnt a big deal. So they are TRYING to be a more successful company, and who cares about whether they are sending out some inaccurate stats and figures regarding their company success. Seriously, so what? My personal experience has had a few gripes in the beginning, and I feel they need to make a more simplistic, and intuitive website to allow navigating and ordering what you want less of a head-ache. But I doubt its an intentional website design. Of course all companies on the planet can improve in certain areas, like we all can as human beings. But back to SKYPE--- I am now really impressed with Skype, and people its as good as a land line telephone in sound quality....on both ends. I have to run now......bye.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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