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.

Source: Skype

  • Iskren Donev

    I always thought of Skype as the communication client for serious matters, much like Slack. Also, I never really got Snapchat, so this update looks really weird to me.

    I would also love to see the looks on big companies’ CTO faces when they realize that the next major version of Skype for Business will have that same colorful and casual interface.

    • I was kind of thinking the same thing. While I have always thought Skype needed some sort of refresh to make it faster, more intuitive, etc. this goes a little too far towards casual users. Our office uses Skype for internal communication as well as video conferencing out of office. There is no need for stickers. Maybe they will let the user choose experiences (highly doubtful).

  • :D

    A little informal for Skype imo

  • Connecting Mac User 

    The most worst UI design I have ever seen. The head of design at Skype should be fired ASAP.