Skype vs Google Chat (Hangouts): Comparing Two Big-Name Business Chat Apps

Microsoft and Google have been competing in the business sector for quite some time. From email apps to calendars and data storage, each company has an app for all these things. Their business suites are similar in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious competition is in the communications sector, between Skype and Google Chat.

It’s hard to talk about business chat apps without mentioning these two apps. Next, comes the question, “Google Chat vs Skype?”

Microsoft and Google have invested a lot of resources into making these apps competitive in 2024. But how do they compare to each other? And, more importantly, where do they stand in today’s market?

A good business messenger should be simple, safe, and easy to use. Let’s see which of these tools delivers on these promises and justifies the big-name background they both so proudly wear.

About Skype

About Skype

Skype is one of the pioneers of the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) industry, mostly known for its video call feature. It was founded in 2003, and it originally featured a peer-to-peer communication system.

Skype was first acquired by eBay in 2005 for $2.6 billion, but it was later purchased by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 billion. In 2016 and 2017, Microsoft transitioned Skype from peer-to-peer to a centralized Azure service and changed its design. During this process, Skype was redesigned to look more like a business chat. Chat features became more prevalent than video and audio calls.

Most of Skype’s development team is located in Estonia, but its headquarters are in Luxembourg.

About Google Chat (Formerly Google Hangouts)

About Google Chat

Hangouts was developed as part of a larger set of messaging services for Google, including Google Talk (a business-oriented app) and Google+ Messenger. Hangouts was initially a feature of Google+.

However, as these apps weren’t integrated or a part of the same suite, Google decided to shut down Google Talk and invent a new chat solution. Hangouts was released in May 2013, with features that we’ve all become familiar with ever since, including text chat, and audio and video calling.

Hangouts has had a turbulent journey, with Google hinting that it will possibly be succeeded by a new solution almost every year. Finally, in 2019, Google announced that G Suite users would no longer have Hangouts but “Meet” and “Chat” apps. As a reaction to the 2020 global pandemic, Google Meet became available for all users, and Google Chat replaced Hangouts in 2022.

Google Chat or Skype: How Did We Compare Them?

  • Interface and user experience: A team chat should be intuitive and simple enough to never distract you from your work. In this section, we will compare Google Chat and Skype regarding finding features, starting conversations, receiving notifications, etc.
  • Video calling: Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, video calls have become a crucial part of business communication all over the world. Call quality, the number of participants, and several other factors make a business messenger better for video calling.
  • Business features: Both Skype and Google Chat are commonly used as simple team messengers, but you might need more advanced, enterprise-level versions of these apps. Here, we’ll compare how many such features both tools offer.
  • File sharing: Team chats aren’t used only to send messages. You can also use them to share files, collaborate on projects, and coordinate teams. We’ll examine which of these two tools has better file-sharing and collaboration options.
  • Safety: All enterprise communications should be secure and protected from external access. You should also have admin control over employee access and many other options. Google Chat and Skype both have some safety issues that we’ll discuss in this section.

Skype vs Google Chat: Interface and User Experience

Interface and User Experience

In terms of availability, we have a tie. Both Skype and Google Chat offer their users web-based, desktop, and mobile versions of their messaging services.

As for the design, Skype features the classic messenger design. They didn’t try to reinvent the wheel or confuse us with a different distribution of elements, flashy colors, and weird button placements. You get a minimalistic design that’s highly intuitive, and you feel like you already know exactly where everything is.

Skype also offers some useful little things like unsending, editing, and forwarding messages to different contacts. All of this can make business communication easier and quicker.

On the other hand, the design of Google Chat is clean and intuitive, offering features such as direct messages, group conversations, virtual rooms, and threaded conversations. Some companies use Google Chat as an addition to Gmail. When you’re in your Gmail inbox, you can chat with colleagues via Google Chat.

The windows are smaller and look better, but they still have the same problem of stacking side-by-side, which can be hard to navigate if you have multiple conversations active.

In our opinion, Skype is easier to use and more intuitive. It features a design similar to apps like Slack, where your contacts are on the left and your chat window takes up most of the screen, which is easier to navigate.

Skype vs Google Chat: Video Calling

Video Calling

Since Skype is known as a pioneer of video calling, you might be inclined to believe that Skype is the clear winner here. However, it might be a closer call than you think!

The call quality on both platforms is excellent if your Internet connection is stable. You might run into some issues with both apps from time to time, such as video and audio lag, audio cracks, etc. When we start getting a little deeper, the differences become more obvious.

For example, with Skype, you can share your screen, record calls, and play around with filters or backgrounds to make things more interesting. This doesn’t apply to Google Chat. Instead, you can use it to start a video call and then access such features through Google Meet.

Skype allows you to have up to 100 participants in a video call. Since Google Chat integrates with Google Meet for video conferencing, at no more than $18 per month, you’ll be able to add up to 500 users. The number may increase to 1,000 participants with Google Enterprise, which comes with a custom price.

You can also easily test your gear before the call by going to Settings—Audio and Video. Here, you can see how your video frame looks and how loud your microphone is.

To summarize, Skype has more advanced features for video calling, but both apps do the job just fine.

Skype vs Google Chat: Business Features

If you want to take your collaboration to the next level, you might be interested in some more advanced features. Unfortunately, these platforms offer very few such features.

When Google Chat was still Hangouts, there was an additional app that allowed you to call phone numbers, including landlines: Hangouts Dialer. Its successor is now Google Voice. It integrates with Gmail and can be useful when running a business. The basic service is free, but you can upgrade to several paid options.

Much like Hangouts, Skype for Business has been shut down. Microsoft Teams, the team collaboration app for Microsoft, replaced it. When it comes to its highest pricing tier, there are additional enterprise-level features, such as conference calling for up to 300 participants and group meetings for up to 30 hours. So, if you’re interested in enterprise-level features, the free consumer versions of either Google Chat or Skype won’t do. You’ll have to look further into G Suite or Microsoft 365 for business to get what you need.

Skype vs Google Chat: File Sharing

File-sharing options on Hangouts had been limited to sharing images only. It was meant for instant communication that complements Gmail and works for quick chats with coworkers. However, Google Chat has leveled it up. It allows you to share various types of files, with a maximum file size of 200 MB. 

Skype enables you to send all types of files, with a 300 MB file size limit. Although it’s definitely the winner in this category, Skype doesn’t make file sharing easy, and it can sometimes abort the upload process, making you start it all over again.

Skype vs Google Chat: Safety

Skype vs Google Chat: Safety

Your business communication should be secure from external interference. You should also be in complete control over who can view what, who has access to which chats, and who can access certain information.

Google Chat doesn’t have end-to-end encryption protocols, which is a standard safety feature that any safe messaging app should provide. So, is Google Chat safe? While we can’t label it as unsafe or risky, it certainly doesn’t provide any assurance that your data is secure or encrypted.

Skype does offer end-to-end encryption if you enter into a private conversation. To do this, you have to click on “New Chat” and select “New Private Conversation” from the dropdown menu. Keep in mind that this will limit your access to some features like deleting, editing, and forwarding messages.

Brosix: A Team Chat With Advanced Features

Why Brosix

As you can see, Google Chat and Skype are solid messenger apps for instant communication with coworkers.

However, both of these platforms fall short when it comes to the right combination of security, admin control, and more advanced, enterprise-level features.

That’s exactly what we had in mind when developing Brosix: industry-leading security features, combined with more options for team collaboration. For example, Brosix places no limit on your file upload size, unlike Google Chat and Skype. It also includes features to improve your video presentations, including the whiteboard, advanced screen sharing, and co-browsing. These allow you to control the other person’s desktop if you need to demonstrate something.

Lastly, Brosix affords you complete admin control. You can add and remove users, limit their access to conversations, and even control which features they can use. That, combined with end-to-end encryption, increases safety in all your enterprise communication. Moreover, Brosix provides its new users with a free 14-day trial, and the highest price for a package is $6/month (billed monthly).


Skype is a better option for business communication than  Google Chat. It has more advanced features, better team call functionalities, and it’s better designed overall. To make things even worse for Hangouts, chances are the platform will soon be rendered obsolete with new updates from Google.

However, Skype is not without its flaws. It still lacks more advanced features, such as unlimited-size file transfers and co-browsing.

You can book a demo with Brosix to see how we managed to improve on all these things and create a more advanced instant messenger for teams.
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Finally, we’ve found some of the most frequently asked questions about Skype and Google Chat to wrap up this comparison.

How much data does Skype use?

Depending on various factors like camera quality, the number of participants, and whether or not you’re using video, data usage for Skype calls can vary. If you’re using your phone’s data plan to join Skype video calls, we advise you to only do that with 1:1 calls. Video calls can use up to 270MB per hour in standard quality, while high-definition (HD) video calls can end up using as much as 1.35GB per hour.

For comparison, voice calls will only use around 90 MB per hour.

Do you need a Google account to use Google Chat?

Yes. You’ll need a Google account if you want to use Google Chat regularly. However, you can join a Google Meet group call if the person organizing it approves external people.

How do I block a user on Google Chat?

It’s easy to block someone on Google Chat. All you need to do is open the conversation with them, click on their name, and select “Block.”

What is a Skype ID and where do I find it?

Skype ID is your username on Skype. It works just like a phone number works for smartphones. You give it to people and they can find and contact you on Skype. To see what your Skype ID is, click on your profile picture (or initials) in the top left corner of the app and choose “Skype profile” from the new menu. A pop-up will open with your Skype name at the top.

Nikola Baldikov

Nikola Baldikov is a Head of Marketing at Brosix, specializing in SaaS marketing, SEO, and outreach strategies. Besides his passion for digital marketing, he is an avid football fan and loves to dance. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter at @baldikovn.

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