Microsoft’s Skype has been redesigned from the scratch, and the familiar Blue and White design is now gone. In its place, there is a more colourful design for Skype. According to Skype’s official blog, the company is introducing the “next generation” of the app.
Skype has been “rebuilt from the ground up,” says the company. Now chatting is the main focus of the app along with a new feature called ‘Highlights’. Remember Skype is the app that made video-calling, instant messaging possible in a time when smartphones were not as mainstream as they are today. It looks like Skype wants to remain relevant with the current crop of users.
For starters, the focus on Skype has now shifted to chat. Some of the new features might remind people of ‘Snapchat.’ Users can share photos, messages, emoticons and stickers in real-time as well. Additionally they can send their chat in a particular colour in the background to stand out in the group chat. Skype is also adding the ability to share GIFs, stickers, and emojis. Stickers, Emojis can be added on top of pictures, videos as well.
Skype is also trying to pitch itself as a personal social network, and will let users post snapshots of their week, which is called Highlights. This is kind of like Stories from Snapchat, but these ‘Highlights’ will last for seven days, and not 24 hours like it is the case on Snapchat and Instagram. Friends and family can comment, react to these ‘Highlights’ on Skype.
When sharing a ‘Highlight,’ users can post either a video or photo. To access Highlight, a user has to swipe right to access the camera, take a photo or video, then post it. Highlights can be sent directly to one contact or a group as well. Once a ‘Highlight’ is posted your friends and family can react to it with emoticons.
Skype’s “Find” panel will let users pull ticket, seating, price options into the chat with the StubHub bot. BigOven add-in will lets users find recipes. The Expedia bot can be used to check flight timings, pricing. Skype plans to add more bots, add-ins for this feature.
Skype’s new design will roll out for mobile, and then to desktop. The app redesign will first be rolled out on Android, followed by iPhone. Windows and Mac versions will launch over the next couple of months.