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Skype to make group video chat free on Xbox One and PC

Skype announced today that group video calling will be free on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox One.

Previously, group video calling on those platforms was only available to Premium subscribers. Going forward, Skype also pledged to make group video calling free across more platforms.

"While Skype is known for one to one video calling, we know it's also essential to connect with the groups of people who matter most, whether friends, family or colleagues," the Microsoft-owned company said in a blog post.

On PCs, Skype supports video calls between three and 10 people, depending on device, but the company recommends calls with up to five people for the best quality. The Xbox One supports up to four people in a video chat.

Skype also confirmed that group screen sharing is also free.

The move comes as Google is making a big push for group chats with Hangouts, which has slowly been integrated into more and more Google services.

Earlier this month at its Build conference, meanwhile, Microsoft showed off a new Skype app for Windows Phone 8.1, expected this summer. "For the first time on mobile, you can easily upgrade your regular phone calls to Skype video calls," Microsoft said. "You can preview the feature in the current Store app, with more to come in the next few months."