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(Pocket-lint) - Skype is now a little more compelling for those of you who love to video chat with multiple friends but don't have much cash to spare.

There's no shortage of video-calling services these days, and that means companies like Microsoft-owned Skype need to get creative in order to stay competitive. For instance, Skype's number one rival, Google Hangouts, lets up to 10 users video call each other at no cost. That's a compelling feature, and it has made Skype look expensive and sup-bar in comparison. Hence why Skype has finally made group video calls free on desktop and Xbox One.

Previously, you could always use Skype on desktop and the Xbox One console to place video chats with 10 or fewer friends, but you first had to buy a premium subscription package. Starting today though, Skype has announced that you no longer have to become a premium user in order to make group video calls. That's because group video calls through Skype are now free on Windows and Mac desktops and the Xbox One.

But that's not all. Skype will also enable free group video calling for all our users across more platforms in the future: "Whether for my cycling team or your catch-ups, meet ups, huddles, reunions, nights out, study groups, painting clubs, family ‘get-togethers’ or whatever group you participate in, Skype is committed to making group communications simple, easy and fun for everyone," announced Skype.

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With free group video calls, Skype can now worry just a little less about losing users to Google Hangouts.

Writing by Elyse Betters.