Microsoft has tried to revamp Skype multiple times ever since it acquired the cross-platform communication service six years ago. It hasn’t always gone off smoothly for the company and now that services like Messenger and WhatsApp are gaining ground, Microsoft is revamping Skype yet again to offer features that align the service with its more contemporary rivals.
The redesign places emphasis on improving text messaging in Skype. The service may be frequently used for audio and video calls but Microsoft wants users to rely on its IM features as well.
Skype’s messaging feature now has three different sections titled find, chat, and capture. Find lets users search for messages in a conversation or content like GIFs and YouTube videos to send in a conversation. Chat offers a basic view of the conversation with options for sending pictures and emojis.
Capture is a bit different, the feature appears to be inspired by Snapchat. It brings up the camera which can be used for pictures or taking short videos. Users can then add text, stickers or annotations on that photo or video in a manner similar to how it’s done on Snapchat.
There’s also a new feature called Highlights which appears to be similar to Snapchat Stories. Users can post multiple photos and videos which their friends can see and react to. The concept is the same as Stories on Snapchat. Microsoft has also made user interface improvements and enhanced the video calling experience.
The new Skype has been rolled out worldwide, it will land on mobile first and then on desktop. Android devices will get it first before the new version is released over the coming weeks for iPhone. Versions of Windows and Mac will arrive in a few months.