Microsoft has released a new app for Apple iPhones, Android smartphones and Windows Phone devices, called Skype Qik that allows short video and animated GIF-style messages.
The app is designed to run alongside Skype, rather than replace it, and allows users to send each other short video messages in between longer video calls. Users can also record up to 12 pre-recorded 5-second animations, known as Qik Flicks, and use those to respond to videos.
Videos automatically disappear from the service after two weeks, and users can erase videos they’ve accidentally uploaded before then. When a user deletes a video they’ve uploaded to the services, it is deleted from everyone else’s device as well.
On the Google Play app store, the initial response from users has been mostly positive, with 208 users out of 399 giving the Android version of the app a 5-star rating and a further 70 giving it a found-star rating.
In its official release statement, Skype partner director Piero Sierra and Microsoft principal programme manager Dan Chastney say Qik Flicks will initially not be available on Windows Phone. Similarly, the ability to block contacts will initially be missing from the iPhone version.
“This is just our first release. We’re excited to see how you’ll use Qik and we’ll be working on new features inspired by your feedback,” said Sierra and Chastney.