From the Skype team:
Imagine if you could reinvent the Skype experience, taking into account how messaging, selfies and app culture have changed the way we communicate. A small team of Skype designers and developers recently took up the challenge to build a new app to run alongside Skype and provide an ongoing form of video chat. They knew they had to create something mobile and lightweight, as spontaneous as messaging but as intimate as calling. And it had to be fun and easy to use. What they created was Skype Qik, and we’re so excited to share it with you today.
Skype Qik is a new video messaging app that gives you a totally effortless way to capture the moment, share laughs, and chat with groups of friends. We know you love your weekly Skype calls with family or friends; Qik keeps you connected in between. Dinner with friends? Bored at work? Having a great day in the park? Go on, share it right from your phone. You’d be surprised how quickly a short video can turn into a great conversation.
It’s easy to swap video messages with groups of friends and show everyone what’s happening down at the pub, catch up on the latest gossip, or make everyone jealous with your thrift shopping finds. But don’t worry, your silly videos won’t live on for all eternity and come back to haunt you. Each video lasts exactly 2 weeks. And if you send a message by mistake, or don’t like the video, don’t panic! You can erase any video you’ve sent from the chat, whether it’s been watched it or not. If you don’t want to receive messages from someone, you have the ability to block contacts on Android and Windows Phone. This feature will be available on iPhone in the coming months.
When you want to reply to a message but don’t have time to record a video of your own, you can use a Qik Flik. They’re like GIFs you record yourself – little 5 second videos you can send with just a tap. We start you out with a couple, but you can record and store your own Qik Fliks so you’re ready to respond to anything. This feature is available on Android and iPhone and is coming to Windows Phone in the coming months.
Skype Qik makes video conversations more spontaneous and fun so you don’t have to wait until your next call to connect with your favorite people.
Sounds interesting, though it's not actually part of Skype itself - think of it as Whatsapp but with far more video and far less text. Skype Qik ties into your phone's Contacts and uses phone numbers as ID. The lack of integration with Skype is going to be somewhat confusing, given the official long name, but the idea is sound, so maybe this has a chance of traction.
It's a little late in the day, of course, given Whatsapp's dominance, plus a number of other competitors. The USPs here are the focus on video and the Microsoft and Skype brands, so.... we'll see.
Here's the promo video, which best explains how it works and how it might be used:
Comments welcome - do you think Skype Qik has a chance of succeeding in 2014?