Of course everyone must not use a particular service like Skype and it’s up to every one to make a personal choice. But This post is here because I found out from my survey, that not too many Nigerians are on this world famous Skype so this post tries to unravel the mystery of what I call Skypophobia among Nigerians especially considering the fact that hundreds of millions of Nigerians are already addicted to other Instant Messaging apps like Whatsapp, 2go, Facebook and now Wechat.
Please read What is Skype and how can I download it
Now we re-phrase our Question to say: Why are few Nigerians on Skype?
To answer this question, we shall consider a lot of factor.
I have been using Skype since 2006 on my Windows 2003 SE phone. Then I only did IM with and no Video call and it had not been acquired by Microsoft at that time. Now more powerful phones is easier to acquire than before so now I do enjoy both Voice and video call on my Skype.
Now let’s go straight to why a lot of Nigerians are not on Skype.
- Awareness: Though I don’t expect the management of Skype to go about advertising their product to Nigerians, at the same time I think the news about Skype fly less in the air than that of other apps like 2go. Skype is more mature than those other apps so the age and class of people that should be crazy about Skype –the working class grade- are not even as mad about Technology as the Student class of Nigeria. So this student class end up spreading only the news of apps like 2go, Whatsapp and Facebook. So we are writing this to inform our unaware readers that Skype is great!
On the other hand, a lot of people have Skype installed on their phone but they can’t tell what its really used for apart from IM!
- Expensive Data plans: If you must use Skype, be ready to burn a whole lot of internet data especially when making audio and Video calls. Skype is so addictive and you won’t want to quit whenever you start. I found out that many people would not use Skype because they could not afford to buy a sufficient bundle. Worst still, there are rarely free WIFI networks available in the air!
My advice is: Save money and start from a 100Mb plan.
- Unsteady 3G network: I have been to many countries in West Africa and I can categorically state here that Nigeria, despite her power challenges, is leading in ICT. For some of our readers who live in the Cities, we may not know what an unsteady 3G network may mean. But millions of people around the globe are yet to use the 3G network. Unfortunately, Skype real-time calling is best on a 3G network or a WIFI.
- Phone/Device: Many people can not use Skype because it will not be supported on their device. Skype isn’t like any Java app that can be installed on low-end devices, Skype is actually and originally a PC software. Today, only those on these mobile Platforms that can use Skype: Windows, Android, iOS and Blackberry that can use Skype. Alternative devices are: PC, Tablets, Home phones, TV, iPod and Play station.
Now you can choose to install or not to install Skype. If you want to download and install it to your mobile device, follow this Skype download guide.