Surprisingly group video chat was not available on Skype on mobile devices, both for Android and iOS, although I’m not sure whether it was available on Windows Mobile phones or not. Group video chat on Skype has been available on PC for many years now. Up till now, if you wanted to do group video chat on your mobile phone, you would have to rely on Google Hangouts that allows you to have a video conference with 10 people maximum. The quality of the group video chat depends on individual Internet connections of the participants.
Recently Microsoft announced that group video chat will be available on Skype iOS and Android mobile phones. The service isn’t being rolled out worldwide, initially. It is just being made available in North America and Western Europe but hopefully the group video chat service will be available worldwide by the end of March.
As mentioned above, Skype’s mobile group video chatting will allow you to chat with 25 people at the same time, broadcasting 1080p video quality. It will also let you flip between the front and the back camera whenever you feel like.
It remains to be seen how people will manage so many participants with the small size of the mobile phone. It will depend on the user interface Skype eventually settles for. Normally when you make video calls on mobile phones what you are broadcasting appears on one of the corners of the screen and what you are seeing appears at the center of the screen. Since now Skype allows you to group video chat with 25 people (it’s not necessary that you will always be chatting with so many people) it remains to be seen how these many people will be organized on the small screen of your mobile phone.
This feature has been long overdue with services like FaceTime on iOS and Google Hangouts on practically every environment available for many years now. Skype is one of the first VoIP apps that have been around since the early 2000’s and the ability to group video chat on mobile devices was being missed for a long time.