Let’s do a Skype call, and then along came Zoom…

Of all the COVID-CAPERS dear reader, the choice of video conferencing tools has been one of the most fascinating. As are the skills of first-time home workers – here is the No.1 Rule for using video when working from home.

But, for as long as I can remember, Skype has been the go-to software for video calls, be they business conference or just to have a social chat – though FaceTime is popular for personal conversations. Skype has been the journalist’s friend on news channels forever. It has become so common, it isn’t regarded as unusual to watch and listen to a journalist in far-flung lands or war zones reporting via Skype on the nightly news.

But then along came COVID-19 and right behind it, along came Zoom.

You’re probably like me folks and have used Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Teams, Whatsapp and other tools to make video calls or for video conferences. But for the life of me, since the COVID-CRISIS emerged, I’ve not been involved in a single Skype video call.

My students are using Houseparty to keep in touch. I’m teaching via Zoom and Teams, and my family is connecting via Zoom and Whatsapp. Unfortunately, there are so many posts on social channels of Zoom screens filled with multiple faces, the images are working against their purpose. Many articles are being ignored because the image is a signal saying “nothing new here” and it turns people off.

Is it just me or has Skype missed the boat? Maybe I’m isolated (to use a current word) from lots of Skype users? What’s your technology of choice?

Though one thing’s for sure – Just as Xerox is the generic word for photocopying and Band-Aid is the generic word for medical adhesive bandage, so too Zoom will become the generic term for a video conference call.

Let’s set up a Zoom call” or “Let’s Zoom” will be the standard. And the brand that used to own the generic term – Skype – won’t ever get the high ground back again.

I wonder what Mazda is going to do now? Zoom Zoom…

And if you would like to chat: Skype: malcolm.auld1


  1. I’ve thought this an interesting development myself. From a positioning standpoint Skype is – was – way ahead of everyone. Typically if you have the #1 position in people’s mind (according to Trout & Ries), you stay there. And Zoom doesn’t really seem to offer much different from Skype (but I’m no expert on that). So the stampede to use Zoom has really puzzled me. Is everyone just sick of Microsoft? Or has there been a material change in the way people think? Loyalty is certainly something that has been under assault for quite awhile and my guess is that C19 will have interesting fallout for brand awareness/loyalty disciples.

    In which direction that goes is anyone’s guess. Each day of C19 is a new day in more ways than one.

    If you figure out the answers to my deep questions, please let us know.

    • Not sure I’ve figured them out and cannot explain why Zoom took off. When we migrated to online for teaching at uni, Skype wasn’t even one of the tools considered. Many of the schools are using Zoom. I haven’t seen any promotion selling the services explaining why Zoom is better than Skype or vice versa. It’s almost been an organic growth and no marketer can claim credit for it. Go To meetings was another I’ve used and not heard from – will definitely be interesting to see what brand holds the high ground, just wish I’d bought Zoom shares back in January…

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