If you thought Facebook is the only one enamored by Snapchat, think again. In a bid to keep pace with Gen Y chatting apps, Microsoft has launched a completely revamped version of Skype application inspired by today’s most popular chatting apps like Snapchat and Instagram. This means Skype now has its own Stories-like feature, christened Highlights, as well as a new interface that puts the camera only a swipe away from your chats, among other things.
Starting with “Highlights” that lets you record your day with photos and video clips. Highlights can be posted to be viewed by all or by select folks. For starters, its Highlights are available for a week, not a day. When you start Skype, you’ll see a list of the people you most recently chatted with. Some of them will have squiggly neon lines under their names and profile photos.
In the revamped Skype’s app, you can just swipe to pull up the camera – a now familiar interaction, thanks to the camera first design found in today’s social apps. You can then snap a photo or video – which you can then, of course, decorate with typed or handwritten text, as well as with Skype’s own set of stickers
Microsoft says Skype’s makeover has been in the works for well over a year. There are other changes designed to give it a new feel, too. When setting up your account, for example, you’re asked to choose colors that represent who you are. You can also now type a message when on video calls which is shown in much the same way – something that could be helpful for when you’re on a group call but don’t want to talk.
Another major feature rolling out today is an expanded selection of Skype’s bots and add-ins. Microsoft envisions how you’ll be able to chat directly with its virtual assistant Cortana, or its newer assistant Scoop, which pulls in news from MSN.com.
The update is available for Android users and should be rolled out for iOS in a month’s time.