Microsoft is making an interesting move today that will impact users who currently access Skype with their Facebook credentials. The company is ending support for this feature and starting in early January, you will no longer be able to login to the messaging platform using this authentication method.
The company says that they are ending support for the feature on January 10th to push users towards authenticating with a Microsoft account to create a single sign-on experience across all of the company’s services. At this time, the feature is not supported on Skype for Windows 10, the new Skype for Android and iPhone, and the new Skype for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
What this means is that if you are using one of the newer versions of Skype, this change will not impact you but this announcement is a bit odd. Considering, from an outsider perspective, that Skype has very slow (if any at all) user growth, removing an option to streamline the onboarding process feels backwards.
Microsoft loves to proclaim that they have 300 million users of the platform, saying this as recently as of 2017 in interviews with various outlets, including myself, but that figure has been used as far back as 2013. By removing Facebook login support, surely that will not help grow the user base of the platform.
This is an interesting move and there may be more to the story than simply wanting to help promote the single sign-on scenario. For example, by using Facebook’s tools, that company knows exactly how many people are using Skype via it’s platform and not to mention that Facebook has its own competing messaging platform as well; this may be a story of competing interests.
For now, know that if you are using Facebook to login to Skype, you need to switch to a Microsoft account in the near future if you do not want to lose access to your account.