It’s more skewed towards consumer use amongst friends and family than before, a change that can be attributed to the introduction of Microsoft’s new Teams chat app for businesses and co-workers. Highlights puts the focus on social interactions though, extending Skype with a new way to stay connected when you don’t want to chat or call.
Meanwhile, a new Highlights tool is apparently meant to make new Skype an app you open at least daily, rather than just when you want to make a cheap VoIP call. Highlights lets you upload photos and video of your day to Skype so they can be viewed by your contacts. Three of Facebook’s Snapchat Stories clones (Messenger Day, Facebook Stories, WhatsApp Status) couldn’t really get any traction from users even though Facebook keeps boasting about its active users.
Microsoft’s Skype has been redesigned from the scratch, and the familiar Blue and White design is now gone. This isn’t going to be a huge problem if you have a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Google Pixel XL, but if you have smaller phones like the regular iPhone 7, you’ll start noticing the terrible use of space by the new Skype app. Capture makes Skype just like Snapchat.
In a market already oversaturated with messaging applications, Microsoft is looking to toss its Skype app into the ring. Highlights is just like Snapchat stories. Now that you’ve posted the highlight, the person viewing the same will have the option to react to each image/video post with emoticons or simply by sending messages in the conversation. When you swipe left, you’ll get a feed of photos and videos from your contacts. It is free to start using Skype, and you can can even try out group video, but if you pay to upgrade, you can do more things, like call phones. One of the benefits is better audio and video calls, while also helping more people and being more secure.
Regarding the new design of this app, Amritansh Raghav, Corporate Vice President of Skype, says,”If social networks have given you the stage on which to perform your life, the new Skype gives you the additional equivalent of the local coffeehouse or corner pub, where you meet people on a daily basis to deepen your relationships”. Through a text window, users can summon Expedia to search for flight prices, or ask StubHub about concert tickets. Tapping the “Capture” tab will instantly launch the camera and allow you to capture a photo or video clip of whatever you’re doing, let you slap a few emojis on it and then share with your friends or add to your “highlights” for others to check out later. Originally, the company said that the update is rolling out for those on Android, however, we’ve recently received the update on iOS too, via TestFlight.
More add-ins and bots “will continue to be added, making your Skype experience even more rich and robust”, apparently. The new version of Skype is launching first on Android, “releasing gradually over the coming weeks”, and will eventually be followed by its availability on iPhone.