Microsoft jumps into video messaging with new Skype Qik app

Skype Qik on iPhone. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Skype Qik on iPhone. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Others have tried and failed to knock Snapchat off its perch, and now Microsoft is throwing its hat into the ring with a new service that uses Skype as its backbone. It’s called Skype Qik, and it allows users on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone to send self-destructing videos up to 42 seconds long.

Qik has been developed by a small team within Skype over the past six months. It’s designed to be lightweight… “as spontaneous as messaging but as intimate as calling,” Skype says — and it boasts a number of nifty features that hope to encourage Snapchat fans to try something new.

Qik users can send short videos to groups of people, and they will automatically expire after two weeks. You can’t change that timeframe, but you can delete videos after you’ve sent them — so if you immediately regret that thing you just shared, you can just eliminate it yourself — regardless of whether it’s already been watched.

Qik also lets you record Fliks, which are little 5-second GIFs you can save and send with just a tap. So if you’re out and about and you don’t have time to shoot something new, but you don’t want friends to think you’re ignoring them, you can send back a prerecorded Flik at the touch of a button.

“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,” Skype says. To try it out for yourself, download the Qik app for Android from Google Play, for iOS from the App Store, or for Windows Phone from the Windows Store now.