Skype is entering the “disappearing” messaging app space, by inserting its very own version of the video chatting. The company launched Qik, a video app that functions alongside the traditional Skype app, and allows users to, in the words of Skype is, “a totally effortless way to capture the moment, share laughs, and chat with groups of friends.”
Qik entertains the concept that the Snapchat has made famous over the last several years. Instead of exclusively chatting via messages, or through multimedia messages, apps like Qik, and Snapchat are offering an opportunity for users to quickly turn video into conversation. The videos can last up to 42 seconds and will as previously mentioned, disappear after just two weeks.
The app itself actually boasts some interesting features. For example, users can toggle between both the front and back cameras while recording – and recording is also incredibly simple. Simply press the pink record button to record and then press that same button again to send. There is no way on the surface to review the video, but you can delete the video anytime you want. Something that puts a lot of the control in the hands of the user, compared to other messaging services which don’t really allow users to un-send, or delete messages or videos that are sent.
Another interesting note is the fact that the app won’t notify you of anything until the video is actually loaded, and ready to view. This is something that for many users of the app Snapchat find frustrating. You receive a picture or video message, but because of connection speeds, you have to wait some time before you’re able to download and playback the video.
Although it’s a Skype application, it won’t be using Microsoft, or Skype information. As in usernames, or any account information you have with the video chat service. In fact, the app will simply pull your phone number, and your contact information, and logistically that is really all there is to generating a list of people to connect with.
Skype takes security on the app very seriously, as well. They assure users that their information stays on their phone, and their phone only. Contact lists are not uploaded to a large server, or anything along those lines, and in recent months that will be something appealing to most mobile users.
That said, this is an entirely new platform for the company. The goal Skype is trying to achieve is to without question be the top dog in the video chatting, messaging, and anything else video related. Skype calls are, usually, scheduled in advance, but this app is working to make spontaneous video conversation a norm, instead of just an anomaly. You can run group chats, one-on-one chats, and even bring people in mid-conversation, so this is definitely something that could pose an interesting threat on the video chatting market, should the app go over well with the general public to start.