Skype has relaunched Microsoft’s Qik app as a video messaging service for use on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft original acquired Qik a few years ago when it was a video streaming service like YouTube for mobiles. The tech giant then disposed of the app in its original incarnation earlier this year.
Now, Microsoft-owned Skype has brought Qik under its brand umbrella with a focus on simple video messaging and a clean re-design.
Not only does re-branding Qik help it stand out among the slew of competitors – the likes of Snapchat, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger make up its rivals – but its presence on Windows Phone also gives the app-deprived users of Microsoft’s OS access to a brand spanking new video messaging platform.
With just 42 seconds of recording time available per video, and no previews or processing times, Qik boasts a quick method of sending visual content to individual friends or groups. Skype has turned Qik into a lean app, with no text messaging options.
A unique feature of the app (which nonetheless shows that it is influenced by Snapchat) allows users to delete video messages from contacts’ phones after they’ve been sent. Consequently, if you’ve accidentally sent out an embarrassing message to a friend or via a group chat, you can still access it a few days later and make sure it disappears from their archive. Super self-conscious users needn’t worry either, as all Qik messages are set to self-delete after a period of two weeks.
As Pierro Sarra – Skype’s Director of Mobile – points out, the emphasis for his firm was to create an app specifically for handsets that Skype users could use to quickly communicate with one another between lengthier video calls.
“We wanted to make sure we had something in between those scheduled Skype calls that is light, fun, easy to use, and fast. That’s why the name Qik resonated with us,” said Serra.
“The point of this is to have video conversations, especially with groups of people.”