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In 2003, Skype was founded by Swedish resident Niklas Zennström and Denmark resident Janis Friis with software created by Estonian developers Ahti Heinla, Priit and Jaan Tallinn. On August 29th, a public beta version of the application was released. In September 2005, Skype was acquired by eBay for approximately $2.5 billion. In September 2009, eBay sold 65% of the company to the private equity firm Silver Lake, the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. In May 2011, Skype was acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion.
Skype allows registered users to communicate through instant messaging, voice and video chat. Additionally, users can be called with a local phone number in select countries. Skype's instant messaging service allows the use of "Mojis," short animated clips which can be pasted into conversation like emoticons.
On August 28th, 2008, the skypelaughterchain YouTube channel uploaded a montage of videos featuring people laughing while watching clips of the previous participants laughing (shown below, left). In the following seven years, the video garnered upwards of 23 million views and 29,000 comments. On November 6th, 2009, the /r/Skype subreddit was launched for discussions about the application. On October 11th, 2010, YouTuber Hikakin posted a video titled "Skype Beatbox," in which he produces various vocalizations mimicking the Skype notifcation sounds, garnering more than 4.6 million views and 2,900 comments in five years.
On December 7th, 2011, the Galga TV YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Skype Sex," in which a couple awkwardly attempts to cyber sex over Skype video chat (shown below, left). Within four years, the video gained over nine million views and 840 comments. On June 20th, 2013, Jimmy Kimmel Live aired a segment in which the boy band One Direction participates in a scavenger hunt over Skype (shown below, right).
In July 2014, the horror film Unfriended was released, in which a group of teenagers are haunted on Skype chat by the ghost of a girl who committed suicide after being cyberbullied.
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