Microsoft on Thursday unveiled a major redesign for its Skype video conferencing app. Rebuilt from the ground up, the company says the new app vastly improves the ways you can connect with your favorite people, putting chat front and center.
Early reactions to the new design have pointed out that the interface has kind of a Snapchat vibe. Group chats are more lively, expressive and personalized, and there’s a new Stories-like Highlights section that allows you to share a photo or video.
Highlights can be decorated with emojis and text, and they remain available for a full week instead of the usual 24 hours. They can be viewed by anyone who follows you on Skype, or you can choose to send your Highlights to a specific group or user.
Other new features include Facebook-like reactions to Highlights and chats, in-video chat overlays for emojis, text, stickers and photos, and the addition of smart assistant Cortana. Skype is also adding bots from Bing, Expedia, YouTube and others.
The Skype update hits Android first, later today, iOS within the next few weeks, and Mac and Windows devices within the next few months.