Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has launched a new and revamped Skype featuring a host of new features that are obviously inspired by messaging rivals such as Snapchat and Messenger. That basically means that the Microsoft application now features a redesign that puts the camera only a swipe away as well as a Stories-like feature dubbed “Highlights.”
The ‘Next Generation of Skype’
Highlights allows you to record your day using video clips and photos. And you can then select if you want them seen by a select few or by all your connections. This feature most obviously gives business owners and marketers alike the option to feature and advertise their products to their Skype connections.
The new Skype also dresses up conversations with emojis, stickers, GIFs, along with @mentions, giving marketers a chance to showcase their personalities and even have some fun when promoting their products.
Skype is also leveraging the Bing search engine, Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant and third-party chat bots and add-ins from the likes of Upworthy, YouTube, Giphy and BigOven.
Also described by the Skype Team as “the next generation of Skype,” the new design noticeably focuses on messaging. The messaging interface now includes chat, find and capture. Chat basically features the conversation view with options for picture additions and emoji. The Find section allows you to search through a conversation, find restaurants, images and even add-ins like Giphy. Capture allows you to capture pictures or videos with an option to add stickers and text, just as you would on Snapchat.
Skype isn’t losing its heart, though, as it still allows for video connectivity between contacts. That’s still there.
The rollout for the new Skype will be gradual as it will first hit Android devices and iOS devices will follow. Windows and Mac versions will be released over the next few months. The Skype Team didn’t say anything about potential changes to Skype for Business.