A small team at Skype has released a new app called Skype Qik (pronounced Quick) for sharing video messages. This app works similar to SnapChat, but only does videos. In addition to recording videos and sending them, the apps allows users to save GIF responses which can be sent if a video message isn't convenient. Qik is available today for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Qik is not completely unique in its approach for messaging. The app functions as a simple back and forth messaging app, using videos to communicate. The videos expire after 2 weeks, but users have the ability to delete sent videos whether they have been watched or not. Hopefully this gives users peace of mind while sending personal messages.
Separating itself from the competition, Qik does have a couple unique features. While recording a video with Qik, it is possible to switch between the front and rear cameras. This is great for showing something with the rear camera then switching to the front camera to talk about it. Qik also lets users store self-recorded GIFs called Qik Fliks. These Qik Fliks can be sent when it isn't convenient to record a video.
Skype Qik is a new take on a common app. It attempts to alleviate the issues with traditional video messaging apps with Qik Fliks and allowing users to delete sent messages. It will be interesting to see if Qik has enough differentiation to generate lots of users. With competitors like SnapChat and Instagram Direct holding the attention of young people, Qik has to offer a compelling experience. Luckily it is cross-platform on day one, and if a user doesn't have Qik, an SMS is sent to help them get set up. Maybe Skype's brand recognition with a couple needed features will be the winning combination to drive adoption.