One of the most popular mobile chat and video messaging services, Skype, is getting a big makeover, and Android owners will be the first to see it. Microsoft has announced what it calls the “the next generation of Skype” which it claims was built from the ground up to offer new and improved chat features, some of which may look familiar to Snapchat users.
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Microsoft says that the new Skype will make group chats “more lively” and personalized. One way it will handle that is to allow users to customize chats with different colors. It will also allow them to show off an emoticon by tapping on the reaction icon that will be available next to any message or video call. Skype also has a new feature called Highlights that will let users create a custom reel that shows their day’s activities with photos and videos. Any Highlight reel created in Skype can be commented on by family or friends via emoticons and messages. Yes, Highlights is basically the new Skype’s version of Snapchat’s Stories feature.
The revamped Skype app will also have a new “find” panel that is supposed to make searching for things easier without having to leave the app. Skype bots such as StubHub, BigOven and Expedia will be a part of the “find” panel as well so that users can buy tickets to concerts, book a trip or make a restaurant reservation, all while inside Skype and chatting with friends.
As we mentioned, Microsoft is rolling out the rebooted version of Skype first for Android devices, but it will take a few weeks for it to reach all users. The iOS app will be the next to get the update, and finally Windows and Mac desktop owners will be able to access the new Skype app sometime in the next few months. You may also notice that the Skype logo has received a redesign as well.