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PC News - Skype and Fring Dispute - Fring Skype Client Banned

Updated on June 27, 2011

Fring Banned by Skype

On July 12th 2010 Fring announced that due to threats of legal action it was being forced to remove skype from its mobile client.

Read Fring's Full Announcement


What is Fring?

For those not familiar with Fring, it is a mobile phone app which lets it's users, called Fringsters, communicate with their contacts across multiple networks, like AIM, Google Talk, Facebook, MSN, and until recently Skype. Fring's skype integration and the lack of a native skype client for many mobile phones is largely attributed to its recent popularity.


Skypes Response

 Shortly after Fing announced that it was being banned by Skype retaliated with their own blog post defending and denying its ban of Fring.

Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably.

In this case, however, there is no truth to Fring’s claims that Skype has blocked it. Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own.

Read Skypes Full Response 

Everyone Loses

In this dispute everyone is a loser. Fring, Skype, and most of all their users.

Fring enjoyed a large influx of new users because of it's support of Skype IM, Skype Calling and Skype Video Chat. Some of these users may continue to use Fring. But without skype many of these users will return to their search for a mobile client with Skype Support for their phone. Right now Nimbuzz appears to be the next best thing.

If you look through the large number of responses from their users you will see that the Skype community is upset with Skype. Most of the user fustration revolves around the lack of a mobile client. Recently skype pulled the windows mobile native app and went into an exlusive deal with Verizon. So despite their being a native android App, Evo and other non-verizon android users can not use it. If Skype does not act quickly to add support for more mobile users, their users will rapidly move to other services that will work on their phones.

The users really lose out in this dispute. Skype users just want to use Skype on their mobile phones. It makes little difference to them if they are using a native app directly from Skype or a third party app like Fring. Long time Skype users are being forced to abandon Skype and find a new solution. While finding another service that works as well or better than Skype may not be hard, convincing your old skype contacts to sign up and start using that service will be the hard part.

Is Fring Still the Solution for Video Calls?

After finding out about the ban I was pleasantly surprised that I could still make a video call to my wife using Fring. This was because we both had Fring setup on our phones, so it was a Fring-to-Fring Video call. But, of course all of my Skype contacts that were not on Fring had disappeared from my Fring contact list and I could not call them.

While Fring can still be used to make mobile to mobile Video calls, Fring lacks an application to let for your computer. So just as Skype leaves it's users yearning for a mobile client, Fring has the same problem with a PC Client.

If you are only looking to make mobile-to-mobile video calls, then Fring may work well for you. But if you are looking to have video calls with others who do not yet have a video call capable phone you will want to take a look at other video call services like Qik.  


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    • Jezhug profile image

      Jezhug 7 years ago from Australia

      Wow. Haven't heard of Fring before. Interesting hub ;)