Skype Launches Video Chat Messaging App

Aiming for a more mobile, "lightweight" and intentionally forgettable version of Skype, the company's designers and developers have come up with Skype Qik -- a new tool for enabling video chats among friends. The intentionally forgettable part comes from the fact that videos recorded using Skype Qik last for only two weeks.

The result is part Snapchat and part WhatsApp. Like Snapchat conversations, Qik discussions are designed to disappear after a set period of time. And as with WhatsApp, Qik is designed to be fast and easy to launch -- all you need is a phone number and an SMS message verification, and you're ready to go.

The Qik app is available as a free download from the Google Play Store, Windows Phone Store and Apple App Store. It supports Android, iOS and Windows phones.

Skype for the Selfie Crowd

The idea behind Skype Qik, apparently, is that regular Skype video calls take time and require both parties to be on hand for a live person-to-person conversation.

"Qik keeps you connected in between," said Dan Chastney and Piero Sierra, writing in a post on Skype's Big Blog. They described the app as a new kind of Skype that takes into account "how messaging, selfies and app culture have changed the way we communicate."

After downloading the app, users can record short -- up to 42 seconds in length -- video messages and send them to anyone in their address book. Recipients who don't yet have Qik receive an SMS message telling them how to get and install the app.

Qik users who don't have a full 42 seconds to spare can also record Qik Fliks, five-second-long video GIFs for sending canned-response-type messages like, "OMG" or "no no." The Qik Fliks option isn't yet available on Windows phones but is expected to be added...

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