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Skype to launch monthly subscriptions and group video chat

Skype, the app that's famous for enabling cheap voice and video calls over the internet, is about to get even cheaper. Skype is set to introduce monthly subscription plans in 170 countries, bringing the cost of calls down significantly for frequent users. On top of that, there are rumors that Skype's long-awaited group video chat feature might enter beta as early as next week.

The plans start as low as $1.09 a month, and come with 1 cent/minute rates to any of the 170 included countries. You can buy plans in 3, 6 or 12-month increments, and there will some options to customize your plan according to the way you use Skype. As far as the group video chat feature, word is it will be free to start, and then cost a little bit in the future. The Windows version will launch first, with Mac support later this year.

Should Ustream,, et al. be worried that Skype is about to horn in on their one-to-many broadcast territory? Maybe, but people still see the Skype brand as a way of cheaply communicating with friends and family in other countries. It still hasn't even cracked the business market, let alone webcasting.

[via The Seattle Times]

Tags: calls, group chat, GroupChat, skype, subscriptions, video chat, VideoChat, voip