In the previous days I watched the reactions to the following claim of Skype: Skype growing by 380,000 users a day.
Some people copied it and said “WOW”, others even extrapolate it to 138.700.000 per year, some very few expressed their doubts!
How does Skype explain that there are only 16 million people online at the peak time of the day, and 8 million at “down time”, if they add more than 100 million users every year?
In fact they know very well what they omit to tell to the Press: it is not “users” but “user accounts” or better “user names” that people should hear. Skype-eBay mentions this on their quarterly results presentations: “Cumulative number of unique user accounts. Users may register more than once, and as a result, may have more than one account.”! Unique "user accounts" is not equal to unique "human beings". This is a huge difference!
Again, let me explain why this “users” statement is false information, and why there are much more "user accounts" or "user names" than people using Skype:
- Some people give it a try and abandon the username (and usage of Skype)
- Some people die (my father last year for instance, or Russel Shaw) and their usernames stay with Skype, no way to delete it.
- People register often several accounts for multiple purposes:
- They forgot their password and created a new account
- Somebody stole their account (Yes, this can happen!)
- They created a new account because they wanted to get rid of some of their annoying contacts
- They have a work account, a home account, a desktop account, a laptop account, etc.
- They are professional spammers and create several hundreds or thousands accounts
- They have a primary account and one or more test accounts
- They created spare accounts for their kids, wife, mistress, grandma, etc.
The question is therefore:
- Is the Skype user base growing? The answer is definitely YES, and faster than ever, but not as spectacular as they claim.
- Is the revenue of Skype growing? Almost not!