Skype growth from … ???

I check sometimes the ranking of Skype website visits on Alexa. Interesting, because you can learn something out of it.First lesson: the ranking of Skype is going down steadily, and this could be again a clear sign of the stagnating popularity of Skype, or, of some degree of saturation. The peak in the ranking of August was due to the outage of the Skype P2P network.

But more interesting is the list of visiting countries: in the top 5, USA followed by some quite smaller non-English speaking countries, representing altogether only about 5% of the population of the USA. Why are they visiting so frequently Skype.com?

In Algeria, Skype is in position number 66 of the most visited sites (way after Google, Yahoo, Youtube, …) and in neighbouring Tunisia in position 114. So, again, why do the people there visit so often Skype … it isn’t a search engine, an entertainment or news site, or a games or porn site!

I checked Algeria by googling on “ADSL”, and saw that Algeria is now making a quite substantial effort in offering fast internet connections. Therefore i guess a lot of people are installing Skype right after they get their connection. Probably this is also what happens in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Therefore, (and this is again speculation) there is already almost a saturation of Skype users in rich countries (where fast internet lines are very common), and growth is now coming from smaller emerging countries were they are now catching up with the penetration of high speed lines.


ONLYEBAY said...

Hi Jean, I just topped up my Skype credit and realized that the whole process is completed within the skype client without needing to go to the skype website. There was a time I remember when users would be directed to the website to buy credit. This will have a negative effect on website traffic I imagine.

Jean Mercier said...

Hello OnlyeBay,

Yes, this has of course a negative impact on website visits, but in my opinion the purchasing visits are only a small fraction of the visits: most people top up their credit a few times a year, and most people don't even buy credit!

But this is a personal guess.

chloe said...

Hi Jean,

I have been using Skype for about a year, and I recently turned on the SkypeMe ability. I didn't think anyone would really contact me without knowing me, but every time I use it, the calls and IMs just start pouring in. And I have noticed an uncanny proportion of Algerians! The funny thing is that they usually start talking about Islam, prejudices and racism. One of them said something like "You see? Islam is really a very nice religion." And another said "Oh so I should not be talking to you, because of racism... surely you didn't forget about September 11?"

It's quite interesting. It seems that (at least in my experience) Algerians are getting on Skype to better their international image or repair relationships with Americans? I'm not sure, but it is fascinating.

Unknown said...

Ji Jean,

Regarding the table of "SKYPE.com users come from", where do you get this list? can you share whole listed countries to me?
Thanks in advance.

Jean Mercier said...


If you read my post with attention, you will see that my information comes from the Alexa website, and the link is in my post itself AND in my favourite links on the right.

neanda said...

Hi Jean,

I'm trying to get the early membership numbers from the first launch in '03 up till 3 years, can you help me here? It seems you're the skype numerologist


Jean Mercier said...

Hi John,

and why would you like to get this?

Anyway, I don't think I have it since August 2003, but I have some user account numbers since the end of 2005. I think I already published it on my blog in the past.