Microsoft is rolling out a complete top-to-bottom overhaul of Skype in an effort to do battle with the likes of iMessage and Snapchat.
Its revamped service combines familiar Skype features like instant messaging and international calling with third-party service integration, improved group chat, and photo sharing with the ability to add annotations and emoji stickers.
Skype is a popular platform — that’s why Microsoft splashed out $8.5 billion six years ago — but it doesn’t have quite the same appeal as services like Snapchat. It’s the primary choice for voice and video calling for many of us, but we don’t use it for much else.
Microsoft is hoping to change that with a fancy overhaul that adds new features inspired by more popular platforms. It incorporates everything you’ve come to expect from Skype, alongside Snapchat Stories-style “Highlights” and greatly improved photo sharing.
You can now draw on photos and apply stickers before sending them or adding them to your Highlights feed. And thanks to third-party services integration, you can enjoy YouTube videos and other content within your instant message conversations.
Microsoft has also added chat bots like Scoop, which bring breaking news headlines and more to your conversations much like Facebook Messenger.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft will be rolling out its new version of Skype gradually, starting on Android. The iPhone version will be available “in about a month,” while Windows, Mac, and tablet updates will come later.