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New Skype feature offers an easy way to chat without an account

With so many Skype challengers emerging over recent years, developers at the Microsoft-owned VoIP company have been busy pushing out update after update to try to keep the software relevant.

In an effort to make its service more accessible – as well as retain its current user base and attract back some of those lost to alternatives – Skype on Thursday introduced a new feature that allows signed-up users to invite anyone to join a chat regardless of whether they have a Skype account.

Any Skype member using Skype for Windows, Mac, or Web can now share a unique link – via services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Twitter – that allows the recipient to join the conversation on Skype for Web in a single click.

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Yes, it’s that simple – no messing about creating an account or downloading the app. Simply click the link and get chatting.

In addition, users with a Skype account and Skype downloaded on their mobile can join a conversation using Skype for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The ability to send out a link from mobile devices is coming soon, the company said.

skype
Skype

The new feature, which works for groups and one-to-one voice and video calls, as well as instant messaging, is available now to users in the U.S. and U.K., with other locations coming in “the next couple of weeks.”

Related: Skype soon usable in Microsoft Edge without plugins

“Now you can use Skype to chat with anyone and not just the people in your Skype contact list,” the Skype team said in a post about the latest change to its software.

To use the new feature, click “+New” in the latest version of Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac, or Skype for Web, then share the provided link with anyone you like. To join the conversation, the recipient just needs to click on the link.

It looks like a pretty nifty addition to the service, offering as it does a super-easy way to fire up an online chat, while for Skype it’s a neat way to get lapsed users engaging with its service again and even pull in some first timers.