In order to get started, users must have a PC that runs Windows 2000 or XP. Windows XP is required for Skype video calling. An Internet connection (broadband is best); speakers and a microphone (stand alone or built-in); a webcam (for video calls); and at least a 400 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, and 15 MB free disk space on the hard drive are also required.
Although not specifically designed as an on-line match making service, Skype chat and Skype video calling can be used for this purpose. In fact, SomeoneNew.com, an online social community that is in no way affiliated with Skype Technologies S.A., uses Skype's calling system to connect people who are looking for friendship or romance. People can use a site such as SomeoneNew.com or go directly to Skype's web site to start connecting to others through Skype chat or Skype video calling.
Skype chat is quite simple to use. If your computer system meets all the requirements listed above, you can go to Skype's web site and download the software. Once you have downloaded the software, you can chat with up to 50 contacts in a chat room.
Skype chat will allow you to set a chat topic or theme for the chat. This will help you keep your chats organized and is especially useful if you have more than one chat going on at the same time. If you decide that you want to speak privately with some or all of the chatters, you can start a conference call by clicking the "conference call" button located on the toolbar. If there are less than 5 chat participants, the call starts immediately. If there are more than 5 chatters, you must select the conference call participants, because only 5 contacts can participate on a conference call at a time. You can also create a new chat from a current chat, by clicking the "create new chat" button located on the toolbar, selecting the contacts to be included in the new chat, setting the chat topic, and clicking on the "create" button to start a whole new chat.
If chatting is not your cup-of-tea and not only do you prefer to talk directly to someone, but would also like to see them, then use Skype video calling. To start a video call you have to enable Video and choose privacy settings. It is important to set privacy settings because this enables you to choose the people who can send you video calls and those who can see that you have video. Video calling can be started at the beginning of a call or during it. You can also turn the video on and off during the call.
Skype chat and Skype video calling allow people to connect with others whether there is one or a thousand miles between them. Thus, it is a great way to make friends who share similar interests; learn from and meet people from different cultures; or find that special someone to spend time with.