Microsoft will go toe-to-toe with Snapchat after unveiling its own quick-fire messaging service, Skype Qik.
The app requires a phone number on sign up, so anyone with an iOS, Android or Windows phone can use it, even if they’re not a Skype user. All Skype Qik users will need to sign up for a new account, as the service is completely separate to the main Skype app.
Skype Qik lets users converse one-to-one or as a group using short video clips. Each video can be up to 42 seconds in length and can be made up of footage captured from both the front- and rear-facing cameras. Once the clip is recorded, it will then be shared with the desired conversation. Videos are automatically deleted after two weeks, but can be deleted manually at any time.
Piero Sierra, Skype's Director of Product Management, explained how Skype Qik differs from other messaging services. He said, “While there are many apps, not just Snapchat, that share video messages in some form, none of them make it the star of the show and are designed to have entire conversations on video.”
Skype Qik will be available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone from today for free.