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Skype vs WhatsApp: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Skype and WhatsApp

Skype and WhatsApp are both popular communication platforms, but they have significant differences in terms of features and functionality. Below are six key differences between the two:

  1. Ownership and Accessibility: Skype is owned by Microsoft and primarily operates on computers and smartphones. On the other hand, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and is mainly accessed through smartphones.

  2. Calling Capabilities: Skype is widely known for its calling features, including the ability to make international calls, conference calls, and video calls. WhatsApp, on the other hand, focuses more on instant messaging and video calls, with limited options for conference calls.

  3. Network Requirements: Skype requires a stable internet connection to function properly, and it is commonly used for long-distance calls or international conversations. WhatsApp, on the other hand, can work on both Wi-Fi and mobile data, making it more accessible for users with limited internet access.

  4. File Sharing: Skype allows users to send files of any size to their contacts, making it a useful tool for business or collaboration purposes. In contrast, WhatsApp has limitations on file size and primarily focuses on sharing photos, videos, and documents.

  5. End-to-End Encryption: Both Skype and WhatsApp offer encryption for secure communication. However, WhatsApp implements end-to-end encryption by default for all conversations, ensuring that only the sender and recipient can read the messages. While Skype also provides encryption, it is not enabled by default.

  6. Integration with Other Apps: WhatsApp provides integration with various apps and services, allowing users to easily share content, such as location, contact information, or media files. Skype, though limited in integration options, offers features such as screen sharing during calls, making it advantageous for certain professional scenarios.

In summary, Skype and WhatsApp differ in ownership, accessibility, calling capabilities, network requirements, file sharing capabilities, implementation of encryption, and integration with other apps. While Skype is more focused on calling features and collaboration, WhatsApp is primarily used for instant messaging and video calls, with a stronger emphasis on security and mobile accessibility.

Advice on Skype and WhatsApp
Lisa Myers
Needs advice

Hi, I am helping teachers in my kid's schools to set up distance learning and wanted to see what is better between Webex, Zoom, and Skype (although only putting this one in as most parents probably have it). The children are 8-9, so they won't be using it on their own and the parents have no experience using Webex or Zoom.

The main use will be for the teacher to explain what they will be covering in the week and enable some social interaction between the kids.

I need to be easy to use for about 20-25 people.

Thanks for your advice, Lisa

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Replies (4)
Yoram Kornatzky
Independent Information Technology and Services Professional at DR. YORAM KORNATZKY LTD · | 4 upvotes · 26.5K views

I consider Skype dead. Even Microsoft strongly neglected it. Webex is more corporate-oriented. So for your use case, I recommend Zoom. It is easy to set up, and the quality is very good. Zoom became such a household name that the average person heard about it. Moreover, any person probably has friends who may have used it. So it will be easier for people to get some community help.

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Attila Fulop

We've been using Zoom for about a half a year and it's stability is unbeatable. We have all-hands on Fridays with 100+ participants. The free tier can easily handle the requirements, the only limitation is that max meeting length is 40 minutes. After that you can immediately restart the meeting, but the pro option is also very affordable. It also features screen sharing and whiteboard sharing out of the box. I also appreciate that it's not mandatory to register an account to attend a meeting.

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Fábio Henrique Oliveira

Hi, Lisa,

I haven't used Skype in a long time. I have I lot of experience with Zoom and Webex. Both for me are very good tools, especially if you have money to pay for (to unlock more features, like more people in a video conference - Zoom).

Nowadays, I've used more Webex with my undergraduate students, I'm using the free account. Cloud recording is a features very useful, especially while using the free account (thanks Cisco!). Webex has control features very useful (e.g., mute, raise hand etc).

Kind regards,

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John Perry
Account Executive at Towerstream · | 3 upvotes · 102.7K views
Microsoft TeamsMicrosoft Teams

From my experiences I feel like Zoom is a pretty intuitive program to teach kids, however Skype might be more common amongst them already.

I am a big fan of Microsoft Teams.

They all do the same pretty much but Teams I find the bells and whistles are easier to find, like custom backgrounds... creating groups for topic discussions that remain there until you want to change/edit or delete. Easy to share files.

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Pros of Skype
Pros of WhatsApp
  • 258
    Free, widespread
  • 147
    Desktop and mobile apps
  • 110
    Because i have to :(
  • 57
    Low cost international calling
  • 56
    Good for international calls
  • 10
    Best call quality anywhere, generally
  • 5
    Beautiful emojis
  • 4
    Chat bots
  • 2
  • 2
    Skype for business integration with Outlook
  • 1
    United kingdom
  • 1
    Not the Best, but get the job done
  • 14
  • 3
    Easy to carry on with contact

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Cons of Skype
Cons of WhatsApp
  • 5
    Really high CPU utilization during video/screenshare
  • 3
    Not always reliable
  • 3
    Outdated UI
  • 3
    Birthday notifications are annoying
  • 3
    The worst indicator noises of any app ever
  • 2
    Finding/adding people isn't easy
  • 1
    No privacy
  • 1
  • 1
    Maximum to 8 person video call

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What is Skype?

Skype’s text, voice and video make it simple to share experiences with the people that matter to you, wherever they are.

What is WhatsApp?

It is a cross-platform mobile messaging app for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media.

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What companies use Skype?
What companies use WhatsApp?
See which teams inside your own company are using Skype or WhatsApp.
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What are some alternatives to Skype and WhatsApp?
Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and cross platform group chat into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.
Discord is a modern free voice & text chat app for groups of gamers. Our resilient Erlang backend running on the cloud has built in DDoS protection with automatic server failover.
Microsoft Teams
See content and chat history anytime, including team chats with Skype that are visible to the whole team. Private group chats are available for smaller group conversations.
Imagine all your team communication in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. That’s Slack. All your messages. All your files. And everything from Twitter, Dropbox, Google Docs, Asana, Trello, GitHub and dozens of other services. All together.
Google Hangouts
Message contacts, start free video or voice calls, and hop on a conversation with one person or a group.
See all alternatives