Holidays are bad …

… for Skype!

Last year, and this year again, some people contacted me in panic somewhere in July or August telling me that Skype growth was slowing down.
Indeed, see the graph below.The red circles (2) and (4) are clearly Northern Hemisphere summer slowdowns of 2005 and 2006: people are on vacation or in their gardens drinking a beer instead of sitting in front of their computers.

Circle (3) is the period between Christmas 2005 and New Year 2006! Skype Population is still mainly in Europe and the Americas: a lot of people are on Holiday or with the family.

This shows clearly that Skype is used mainly by the “working adults” class instead of kids: kids play more with the computer on week-end or during holiday, in my humble opinion.

Why didn’t we notice” such a slowdown in summer 2004 (1)?
Two possible reasons:
  1. my data isn’t accurate enough (too few data points)
  2. SkypeOut was launched in summer 2004 and has clearly boosted the growth of Skype
Everything is normal again, see the surge in users online now in the beginning of September. Last two weeks, from Wednesday to Wednesday there was an increase of about 100.000 “concurrent users online” at peak time, being 14h GMT. My wild guess is that we will reach 8 million users online on November 6!


onlyebay said...

With back-to-school period fully underway and a proper beta of Skype Video for Mac this morning, I would not be surprised to see 8 million before the end of the month.

Fantastic blog btw. I have added it to my favorites.

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks for the compliment! :-)

8 million on November 6 was indeed probably too pessimistic, but you are too optimistic!