Facebook isn’t the only major technology company to borrow application design cues from the competition. On Thursday, Microsoft unveiled a completely redesigned version of Skype that looks and feels a lot like another popular messaging app: Snapchat.
Microsoft is pitching the next generation of Skype as your “everyday place” for personal connections and fittingly, it puts chatting front and center.
Skype’s new “Highlights” feature lets users create a highlight reel of their day using photos and videos, much like the “Stories” feature found on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Friends and family can react directly to the Highlight either with emoticons or by firing up a conversation.
The new “Find” section, meanwhile, makes it easy to both search through a conversation and infuse a chat with useful information. For example, one can search for tickets to an upcoming sporting event then pull seating and pricing data directly into the conversation, hunt for – and share – new recipes using the BigOven add-on or plan a weekend getaway using the Expedia bot.
Customization options like the ability to select your favorite color as the app’s theme allow users to make the app uniquely their own.
The new Skype begins rolling out worldwide today. Microsoft notes that it’ll be released gradually over the coming weeks for Android before debuting on iOS. Versions for Windows and Mac, unfortunately, won’t arrive for another few months, we're told.