Sunday, November 17, 2013

How Google hangouts can easily capture Skype's VOIP Market

Was just wondering why the better product for video calls or VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) Google Hangouts is still having lower market share for video calls when compared to skype. I use Skype a lot to talk to loved ones in other parts of the world and realized why it is tough to convert Skype users.

Doubtlessly Skype has been there for so long and people are already so much used to Skype. Everyone is used to the process from my father who is 60+ to my nephew(who is just 8-9 years old). Most Skype users are simple internet users who needs to see & talk to their loved ones abroad. So most of the time it's two generations interacting on Skype and the barrier for Google hangouts at the moment is the older generation. The blog post explains how Google Hangouts can capture the older generation who are essentially personal users. Now let's first look at the difference of the two.

The process of doing a Skype video call is (Provided Skype is pre installed and the user has contacts - case where a noob like our parents who uses Skype which is preinstalled by an advance user)

Process of starting a Skype call

  1. Clicking on the desktop/app icon
  2. Logging in and 
  3. Just clicking on the name of the person. 

Now lets look at the process of initiating a Google hangout for a similar user on a laptop or a PC

Process of starting a Google hangout

  1. Click on the chrome browser icon
  2. Click on the tiny green hangouts icon in chrome 
  3. Type in contacts name/s
  4. Click on video call 
Lets see how complicated the hangout process is for someone new to computers. Chrome browser is no issue since it's just like clicking on Skype. But the browser layout is quite different - there is an additional step in between the user and contacts. The green hangouts button is very small and hard to locate. Clicking on it opens a small box in the bigger browser which is strange for a noob who is not used to IMs like Yahoo messenger or google chat. Once again you need to type in the name of contact. There is the standard recent contacts but no contact list. And because it is part of gmail - there will be many contacts to choose from. Because of this Google hangouts is "rocket science" for a simple user.

The Solution - Lord Buddha's way
In Sunday school we learnt about how Lord Buddha tackled various tribes who were already involved in wild religious practices. For e.g. If he met a tribe who worshipped trees he never told them to "stop" worshipping trees. Because then his preaching will be rejected at once. Instead he asked them to worship Bo-tree which is connected to Buddhism in a way the tribe understands Buddhism.  Same for stone worshippers - worship Lord Buddha statue, same for light worshippers - worship a lamp & learn how the lamp fades away just like life.etc.

Same tactic for Google hangouts. You cannot tell the users - "Browser apps are the future! Get used to this." You can but they won't simply convert from the simple process they have gone through for years.

Google Hangouts Desktop Software 

Google should come up with a clone of Skype. A simple desktop software (don't even call it an app) which is installed on PCs/Laptops and a simple click on the desktop/start menu item should bring the contact list. Once click should make the call. And adding more people and all the jazz to be followed.

Once people are used to this - and once they get to know the awesome hangout features, they can convert to browser based apps.



  1. Once it's up and running you can load details of your existing SIP VoIP provider.....voip philippines

  2. But the browser layout is quite different - there is an additional step in between the user and contacts....... voip philippines