Difference Between Skype and Facetime

Skype vs Facetime

Skype and Facetime are essentially two software solutions offering the same basic functionality with added perks. The major difference is that they are offered from two prominent vendors. Skype is a part of Microsoft as of now and Facetime is a trademark from their opposition, Apple Inc. It is said that there is an ongoing battle between Skype and Facetime, yet I find it hard to believe that Facetime can dominate over Skype unless they implement it to work across platforms or majority of the world purchases and uses Apple hardware. Let us talk about each of the services individually before comparing their differences.


Skype is basically and audio centric communication application which you can use to make calls. That sounds fairly simple when put like that, but the real advantage is the perks offered with Skype. Once you register and get an account in Skype, you get to open a communication line from a Skype user to another Skype user. I will talk about the free services available before going in-depth about paid services. Skype allows you to chat, place an audio call as well as a video call to another Skype user. A user is identified by the Skype screen name and should be in your contact list, to communicate. While you communicate with the other party, you can also share your screen, play a game and send files, as well. In essence, it will act as a fully-fledged IM (Instant Messaging) service. Another interesting feature it provides is group chats and group audio calls. It also has plugin integrations with Facebook in its main window.

Skype offers Video conferencing as a premium service. They also have corporate accounts with a variety of services. Another great feature offered by Skype is the ability to make calls to any telephone throughout the world. Several subscription plans are offered for this service and it’s substantially cheaper than using IDD calls. If you subscribe for a Skype number, then anyone in the world can also call you back from their telephone; which is very convenient.

Even without the premium services, the specialty of Skype lies in its versatile nature. It will work on a Windows PC, a MAC PC, a Linux installation as well as any standard smartphone. This makes it dominate the market over Facetime and any other IM service.


Facetime is an incredibly simple Video chatting application that comes with Apple hardware. It is installed in latest mobile devices as well as iMacs. The first difference one can notice is that you don’t need to have an account to use Facetime. It will identify your device with either your number or your email address. Facetime is seamlessly integrated with the operating system and hence you don’t need to keep the application open in order to receive a call. It will automatically notify when there’s a call waiting for your attention.

The conceptual difference with Facetime is that, there isn’t a status such as ‘Online’ or ‘Offline’ because you don’t essentially sign in to Facetime. Hence it follows that there won’t be a ‘Whose Online’ list like in Skype. When you want to Facetime somebody with an Apple device, you use Facetime to connect to that device as long as it’s switched on. Apple has always been a fan of simplicity, and it is exactly that we can expect from Facetime. It doesn’t provide chatting functions, nor it provides file exchanges and other related perks like in Skype. Instead, it guarantees a crystal clear video call in the simplest way possible which may be an attractive choice for those who trust simplicity over complex gestures.

A Brief Comparison Between Skype and Facetime

• Skype can be used in multiple platforms ranging from Windows to Linux and Max and Windows Mobile to Android, iOS and Symbian while Facetime can only be used with Apple products.

• Skype is an audio centric IM application while Facetime is a dedicated video calling application.

• Skype has a chat function enabled while Facetime offers nothing of the caliber.

• Skype offers additional perks such as screen sharing, file sharing and games while Facetime doesn’t offer those.

• Skype offers Video conferencing and fixed dial numbers as a premium service while Facetime offers nothing of the caliber.


It is fairly easy to draw a conclusion with the facts that have been discussed above. Facetime is basically a great way to stay connected and use video chatting with your contacts who owns an Apple product. But if the majority of your audience owns non-Apple products, the choice is fairly simple. Although this is the case, my idea is that you can use both applications in coexistence. Imagine that you have an Apple iPad. Facetime is generically installed in iPad, and you can also install Skype and let them co-exists. Whenever you’re calling a colleague of yours who owns an Apple product, you can use Facetime, and in every other circumstance, you are at liberty to use Skype. This is possible because both of these are offered as free services and if you indeed need the premium services offered by Skype, then Facetime is not even a competitor.