Skype users will be thrilled to learn that the application is getting its biggest facelift in years. However, the benefits are only accessible to consumers, not the Skype for Business users. The latest updated involves losing the light-blue theme for a more customisable interface and collection of features aimed at improving the way the modern generation communications.
Besides a few cosmetic changes, the new update will also modernise the Skype infrastructure, giving the service the reliability it needs to compete with businesses that are just getting started in the world of communications software. This is the biggest set of changes to impact Skype since the introduction of video calling that took place 11 years ago.
The Evolution of Skype for Consumers
The Skype application was purchased by Microsoft for $8.5 billion during 2011, and it quickly emerged as a pioneer in the world of video and voice calls, made through the internet. Today, more internet solutions for communication are in place than ever before, and this has helped to eat away at Skype’s product usage.
After all, the world of communication, both business and personal, is constantly changing. Right now, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), and Facebook Messenger boast more than a billion users each. At the same time, China-focused WeChat and QQ aren’t far behind. Both Apple and Google have also begun to invest in communications tools linked to expansive mobile platforms.
The former backbone for the Skype service, peer-to-peer communications linked through a direct line, is being replaced by an update to Microsoft’s data centre network. Some of the user complaints about the service, such as phantom notifications and missed calls should be eliminated by the change.
What Else is New for Skype?
Alongside the addition of the new “Highlights” feature, which is similar in nature to Snapchat functions, sharing photos and videos on a shared reel, the update will place more focus on tools to find friends and connect with reactions and emojis in video and chat.
Additionally, automated chatbots, a resource that’s been promoted by Microsoft in an attempt to develop intelligent software, have been given a new home in the Skype world. With text windows, users can now summon different solutions to search for answers to their questions, including Expedia for flights, and StubHub for event tickets. Of course, the functionality here remains somewhat limited.
According to Amritansh Raghav, the vice president behind Skype, the idea behind the update is to position Skype as more than just a social network. The aim is to announce the application as a way to communicate with people in a more intimate way.
The new update will be released in waves, targeting mobile devices with Android first, followed by iOS. The software will also appear on the desktop edition sometime during the summer. Unfortunately, Skype for Business won’t be affected by the change.