Skype’s Message to Facebook and WhatsApp: Millennial Use Growing

Tops 300 million people

Skype is making its case to marketers that it is hip with millennials, that highly coveted youth demographic. Skype now counts more than 300 million users and said it reaches 24 percent of 18-24-year-olds worldwide, according to advertising gm Lovina McMurchy.

“While other companies have seen interactions with younger users decline, Skype has seen positive growth numbers in recent years,” McMurchy said. McMurchy discussed Skype’s millennial focus with Adweek and posted a blog about the subject today.

Microsoft bought Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion, a price that at the time seemed high but is minor compared to Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp in a deal worth an estimated $19 billion.

Mobile messaging has attracted the attention of brands and marketers who are following the users, especially youth who have embraced these communication platforms. Companies like Microsoft and BlackBerry are eager to remind marketers of their entrenched messaging platforms. Last week, BlackBerry Messenger introduced new sponsored content opportunities on its app with 85 million users.

Skype today is taking a direct shot at Facebook in a blog post from McMurchy, who said usage among millennials is growing. Facebook has detected a slight drop in interest from young teens, but still more than 80 percent of U.S. adults under 30 use the social network, according to Pew Research.

Here are some of the other Skype stats the company is sharing with advertisers:

  • Skype’s millennial audience rose 28 percent year over year in December 2013.
  • In the U.S., 22 percent of millennials ages 18 to 34 use Skype.
  • The average user spends 150 minutes a month on the platform.
  • Skype says U.S. users spend twice as much time there compared to WhatsApp.