Skype Qik: Microsoft's crusade against mobile messengers

    Unexpectedly for everyone, Skype acted as a developer of mobile applications, releasing immediately on all major mobile platforms on Tuesday the Skype Qik application, which is a group video messenger with its own characteristics. Its main feature is Skype Qik, which allows its users to send short 42-second videos to each other in private or group chat, and communication is not in mutual mode, like talking on regular Skype, but in asynchronous mode.

    “Skype Qik is the first video messenger, light and spontaneous,” said Piero Sierra, director of mobile development at Skype , described the result of his team’s work.

    Although the messenger has no connection with Skype itself (such as exporting a contact list, which would be logical), Sierra calls it a “partner” of the company's main product, which with its 300 million users plays an important role in the communications market, and especially in the PC segment . On average, a Skype video call lasts 40 minutes today, but is relatively rare. Skype Qik is designed for concise communication, but much more frequent.

    For Microsoft, which owns Skype, the release of this application is a good opportunity to grab a piece of the pie from the mobile market, which is showing active growth. Although half of Skype users use its applications on their mobile devices running different OSs - this is a minuscule compared to the audience of Apple Facetime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger and other smaller instant messengers, not to mention the super popular WhatsApp and Viber.

    Sierra believes in the success of his brainchild and the rapid growth of its popularity among users of mobile gadgets. Among the noteworthy features, he names in particular registration and authorization using phone numbers, and not the nicknames and passwords used in most instant messengers, the “survivability” of the sent message for two weeks and the limitation of the video duration (which does not prevent it from being 7 times longer) messages in Vine) and the volume (not more than 5 MB). The video itself has a square format, like Instagram photos.

    Perhaps one of the most potentially popular features of the messenger is the Qik Fliks function. You simply create yourself a set of emo gifs that correspond to your most frequent conditions, and when communicating with your interlocutor, they quickly respond to one or another of his messages.

    In addition to accessibility for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, the new messenger is ready to conquer a wide audience - the application has versions in 21 languages, of course it is implemented very qualitatively (after all, Microsoft). During shooting, you can change the front to rear camera.

    The use of phone numbers during registration is conceived with a view to virality - when you select a user from the contact list, the application offers you to send him an SMS (for your money, of course) and thanks to this it is distributed among users of different platforms whose different phone brands will not become an obstacle to creating group chat . True, here Sierra miscalculated somewhat - when collecting smartphone users from different platforms by their phone numbers, the application simultaneously loses those potential users who do not have these numbers - for example, tablet or PC owners.

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