Internet calling service Skype plans a public "beta" test of a group video chat function that lets up to five people participate in a video call simultaneously.
When the feature launches next week it will be free, but Skype Ltd. plans to start charging for it along with some other upcoming features in three or four months, said Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype’s consumer business segment.
Stevens said group video chat will first be available to those who use Skype on Windows PCs, and the company expects to roll out a Mac version later this year.
Stevens said the feature is the one users have requested most.
This one particular feature has been the biggest stumbling block to many podcasters and content producers wanting to take the leap from audio podcaster to video podcaster due to the lack of options for recording group video chats. I, for one, will be very interested to see what this feature ends up looking like. It has the potential to really push content production forward for a lot of people.