Skype has been primarily used for video and audio calls over the years, but Microsoft has been trying to make sure the app is relevant for messaging recently. As services like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, and others have risen in popularity, group chat messaging has become a popular way to communicate with friends and family. Microsoft is now trying to leverage Skype to get people chatting on its service, and the latest change comes today with the introduction of Skype group chats that anyone can join.
While you've always been able to start group conversations on Skype, everyone always had to have the app installed to just chat. Microsoft is updating Skype today so that users can generate links that can be shared to anyone to use for group chat. You won't need a Skype account to start chatting, just input a name and you'll immediately join a conversation using Skype for web. This opens up Skype to more users beyond your own contact list, and if your friends do have Skype installed on their phones then they can join the conversation using Skype for iPhone and Android.
The new Skype group chat invitation feature will be available initially in the UK and US, and Microsoft says it will roll out more broadly over the next few weeks. Microsoft is also bringing the ability to start a conversation and share the link using the mobile apps soon.