In the wake of all the technological era’s quick photo and message apps, Skype have joined the crowd in a new merger. But will their foray into the market live up to all our expectations?
So it’s not really Snapchat, but you’ll find that Skype’s new service has many echoes of the popular app. Released October 14th, Skype Qik is aimed at everyone as an instant form of communicating between otherwise infrequent video calls. But is it worth the download?
A product of Skype’s 2011 acquisition of Qik, the company originally behind the app, Skype Qik aims to re-launch Skype back into the mobile market. Despite already having a dedicated Skype app – it’s not commonly used; often being passed over for apps such as Facetime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger and any of the countless other messaging apps. The average video call on Skype lasts about 40 minutes and is often infrequent. What Skype needed was something quick and easy to use, something that followed the growing trend and was likely to be adopted by many and not only Skype users.
On the face of it, Qik is a mash-up of all the features of the popular apps you know and have come to love. To start, login with your mobile phone number, just as you would for Whatsapp or Viber. This makes Skype Qik more accessible to all and not just Skype and Microsoft account holders. Just as you would for Vine, you record a short video, however Qik gives 7 times the amount of seconds allowing more room for chat! Clips are square-framed, like Instagram, and are as fleeting as Snapchat videos; being deleted after 2 weeks.You can even delete messages before your friends see it.
Skype Qik is great for short messages to an individual or a group, allowing you to voice your feelings faster than typing away for a while or having an in-depth conversation face to face. Equipped with the ability to switch cameras midway through your recording, it’s great for showing people what you’re looking at or how you’re feeling. But if you haven’t got time for a message, why not send a pre-recorded ‘Qik Flik’, a 5 second gif of your frequent replies or feelings. You could pre-record your disapproving head shake, an excited expression or even your best puppy dog eyes. You can store up to 12 of them and send them whenever you can’t make a clip.
Overall, the app is off to a good start, but needs a little maturity to ever topple our student favourites. They’ve stolen ingredients from all their competitors, but until they refine their first iteration further; I fear the conversion from what we’re used to may be slow. As of yet the Qik Flik feature isn’t available on Windows phones and you can’t currently block contacts on iPhones. Nevertheless,Skype Qik is fast gaining traction, especially after Snapchat’s recent bad press. The question that remains unanswered is will Skype Qik gain enough steam to conquer the giants and nestle itself onto our phones? Try it out for yourself from the App Store or Google Play; available now.
Let us know what you think by sharing your experiences in the comments below…