You can now add Skype to the list of services which are copying Snapchat.
A major redesign of the Skype app has been announced and this will also include the “Highlights” feature in it. This will allow the customers to share their photos and videos which will be temporarily visible to all their connections.
This feature has an uncanny resemblance to Snapchat’s “Stories” feature as this format has been growing in popularity for a very long while now. A number of other messaging apps and social media services have been opting for this feature where the users are allowed to share their updates with their friends usually for a period of 24 hours.
This is the most extensive update since the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 Billion. Skype was first introduced to the masses in 2006 and since then, there has been no major change in its outlook and format.
The actual number of Skype users has never been disclosed by the company but it claims that hundreds of millions of monthly users rely on the services provided by Skype. Out of all these people, 50 percent access the service from the mobile phone. It is hoped that the new features and the large number of current users will draw more daily usage of the app.
The corporate vice president of Skype, Amritansh Raghav said, “What differentiates one application from the other is the network that you have.” He continued, “For us, we have a network on Skype, and it is the exact network that we want to grow – the personal network.”
Apart from introducing the highlight feature, the new version also puts emphasis on group messaging. Users can now have some attractive and colorful backgrounds for their chat windows, react to others’ messages through emoji, and can infuse chat content from a third party service.
The service now comes equipped with a number of bots which have been created by Microsoft. The purpose is to help the users to get more done. One of the bots is Scoop that can fetch news of interest for any user and other is Cortana which is Microsoft’s very own virtual assistant.
The true identity of Skype is video calling and it has improved this ability too. Now, users can send photos, emoji, and stickers during a call. With the passage of time, Skype hopes that it will allow the users to play games and watch videos during the call too.
Raghav said, “We want people to experience things together.”