Microsoft's Skype draws inspiration from Snapchat in big redesign

Share

Clones of Snapchat's popular Stories feature have been showing up inside other apps left and right this year, leading some people to joke that things like pregnancy tests, graphing calculators, and Excel will soon feature them. This isn't enough to put off Microsoft, of course, and today the company lifts the lid on its latest - and arguably most radical - redesign of Skype.

Skype introduced an update Thursday that went above and beyond a few bug fixes or app cleanup. If you've used Microsoft's Photos app or OneDrive, you may have noticed that Microsoft periodically creates an "album for you", with photos from a given date or location grouped together. You can respond with emoji and Microsoft's custom "moji", add polls, share live or archived video, record audio, append comments with reactions, and more.

"We needed to modernize the Skype infrastructure", he said. But Raghav said Skype can be more than just another messaging app you use every once in a while for free phone calls with far flung family and the occasional chat with a Microsoft executive.

Today, such internet communications tools are commonplace, and some have lapped Microsoft's product in usage, partially a result of the Redmond company's small presence on smartphones.

Microsoft may have just pulled the rug from under Facebook's WhatsApp by re-building the Skype application from scratch.

Microsoft's Skype draws inspiration from Snapchat in big redesign
Microsoft's Skype draws inspiration from Snapchat in big redesign

Skype does not disclose exact user figures but claims to have hundreds of millions of monthly users, of which 50 per cent access the service on mobile. The new Skype is clearly meant to address these issues, evolving the app into a modern messaging client that can comfortably sit alongside Facebook's finest.

The goal is to keep Skype relevant and serve user needs while building on its original objective of connecting people with the closest and most important people in their lives.

Skype's remaining development offices are in Estonia, the Czech Republic, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Microsoft's Redmond headquarters.

Highlights lets you create a highlight reel of your day with photos and videos, so you can share everyday moments.

Automated chatbots, a push by Microsoft as it aims to build more intelligent software, have been given a prominent home in the new Skype. In Skype, Cortana's by your side to assist with suggested responses, but it appears that Cortana's new role within Skype is just one of many participants in a room. Everything was updated, from the way chats look to the way users communicate with the friends, a release from Skype said. "For us, we have a network on Skype, and it is the exact network that we want to grow - the personal network". All these features will start rolling out to Android users first in a new update before becoming available across all other platforms.

More news: IPL: Rising Pune Supergiant thrash Kings XI to claim final play-off place

Share