Skype Qik Video Messaging Takes On Snapchat For Android, iOS, Windows, Might Not Even Get Hacked

Microsoft may have just figured out how to make short video messaging appealing to adults – and it might make headway with the teenage segment, too. Microsoft-owned Skype challenged the likes of Snapchat yesterday by releasing Skype Qik for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Like Snapchat, the app lets you record short videos and send them to your friends, but Skype Qik has some features that make it a different experience.

Microsoft Skype Qik is taking on Snapchat and other short video message services

Short video messages are huge with teenagers and millennials, but they’re gaining traction with all kinds of smartphone users because they make it so easy to carry on a video conversation. Sure, Skype is great for meetings and long chats, but it can be difficult to carry on a Skype video chat while you’re on the move. Skype Qik solves that problem by letting you record a short video message (42 seconds or less) whenever it’s convenient. Your recipient then watches it when she’s ready.

An important difference between Snapchat and Skype Qik is the length of time that the videos are available. In Snapchat, the sender controls the amount of time that the message lasts, up to 10 seconds. That appealed to people who wanted to send intimate videos that wouldn’t hang around to cause trouble (a plan that hasn’t worked well for some Snapchat users) but Skype is betting that there are plenty of people who would like to have messages last longer. To that end, Skype Qik messages last for two weeks before being automatically deleted and gives you the ability to delete messages on your phone anytime. Interestingly, you can also delete a message you sent - if you regret a video, you can have it removed from your recipients' phones with a few taps. As Microsoft takes pains to points out, deleting videos doesn’t equate to privacy – people who want to keep your videos will find a way.

Skype is touting the service’s support for group video chats: you can send your video to multiple people and they can see each other’s responses. You can also record up to 12 five-second videos to use as quick responses to yes/no type questions and the like. Weirdly, the quick-response video feature, known as a Qik Flik, isn’t available on the Windows Phone version of the app yet. Seriously.