Microsoft has a revamped Skype app in store and the major redesign draws inspiration from rivals such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.
Skype has been around for a good while and throughout the years has helped connect friends, family and people from across the world. Microsoft has gradually added new features and improvements to enhance the whole experience and keep up with the times, especially since a slew of messaging services now offer functionality similar to Skype.
Skype App Redesign
The latest update to the Skype mobile apps brings a new feature called Highlights, which is similar to Snapchat Stories, as well as a revamped design that makes it easier to access the camera with just one swipe.
Microsoft says that it's been working on this revamp for more than a year and it's the biggest change to Skype since it got video sharing all the way back in 2006. This indicates that the Skype redesign is not necessarily a last-minute attempt to copy Snapchat and Facebook's copy of Snapchat, but rather something that's been in the works for a while.
Skype Highlights, Microsoft's Take On Snapchat Stories
"Highlights lets you create a highlight reel of your day with photos and videos, so you can share everyday moments," touts the Skype team.
Posting Skype Highlights is easy: just swipe to access the camera, capture a photo or a video, then post it to your Highlights. Others will be able to join the conversation or react to your Highlight with emoticons. Alternately, you can just send it directly to select contacts or groups.
"The new Skype is your canvas, and now you're free to share in more expressive ways with your closest friends, family and groups," Skype adds.
Skype Focus On Chat
Microsoft boasts that it rebuilt Skype from the ground up to dramatically improve the way people can connect with each other. Despite the Highlights and other changes, chat is still front and center, and group chats are now more personalized, expressive and entertaining.
If so far Skype has been a popular venue for video and audio calls, the "next generation of Skype" wants to focus more on messaging, especially since various apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and others are currently dominating the messaging scene.
Skype's new interface for messaging now has three sections for a conversation: find, chat, and capture. The names are pretty self-explanatory: find allows users to search through a conversation, find a specific message, image, restaurant, or even find content such as Giphy GIFs or YouTube clips to add to the conversation. Chat is the basic chat view with the regular options such as emoji or image addition. Capture, meanwhile, is somewhat like Snapchat baked into Skype, allowing users to take photos or videos and then spice them up with text, stickers, or annotations.
Microsoft is first rolling out the redesigned Skype version to mobile, with the update for desktop to follow shortly. The new Skype version will hit Android devices first, followed by iOS, Windows, and Mac.