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Skype Takes on Snapchat With Qik App

Services like Snapchat and WhatsApp are popular ways to send quick photo and video messages, but Skype is now getting in on that action with its new Qik app.
Essentially Skype Lite, Qik users can share short videos as a one-off message or part of a conversation. It's available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone today, though not all features are available on all platforms at launch.
"We know you love your weekly Skype calls with family or friends [but] Qik keeps you connected in between," Skype program managers Piero Sierra and Dan Chastney wrote in a blog post. "Dinner with friends? Bored at work? Having a great day in the park? Go on, share it right from your phone."
The Snapchat-meets-Skype service stores videos for only two weeks, and makes it easy for Android and Windows Phone users to delete a message from the chat, even if it's already been viewed. You can also block contacts on Android and Windows Phone, a feature that will be available on iPhone in the coming months.
Switch between your phone's front and back cameras to say hello, share your view, and even record Qik Fliks—five-second GIFs that can be sent immediately or saved for later. Android and iOS users have initial access to Fliks; Windows Phone owners will have to wait a couple of 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," Chastney and Sierra said.
Once you've downloaded the application, start sharing videos with anyone in your contacts list. Those folks who haven't yet installed Qik will receive a notification with details on how to get the app. The Skype team promised new features "inspired by your feedback" in the future.
The release comes several years after Skype acquired real-time video broadcasting service Qik, though Qik wasn't officially shut down until April. In the months since, a team of Skype designers and developers rebuilt the app to fit the modern mobile user's lifestyle.
Check out Skype Qik in action in the video below.
The Redmond-owned chat service last week gave desktop users a boost with Skype 7.0 for Mac and a new preview version for Windows, both redesigned to make virtual conversations even easier.
For more, check out 17 Skype Tips to Help You Master Web Calling and Video Chat in the slideshow above.


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