Microsoft Overhauls Skype, Adds Highlight Reels
Microsoft has totally re-envisioned its Skype messaging application and, in the process, made it more like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger. To start, Skype offers more personalization. For example, users can tweak colors and more easily add animated emoji and reaction icons to conversations. The app now supports what Microsoft calls a Highlight Reel, which is a Snapchat Stories-like compilation of videos and photos. Microsoft says people can create Highlights by accessing the in-app camera, or by pulling in content from their phone's photo gallery. People can then react to Highlights or use them as a starting point for a new conversation thread. Bots are headed to Skype, too, via the new Find tab that's built into the app. Users can take advantage of the bot-enabled search tool to find concert tickets, see what's trending across social networks, and more. Microsoft expects third-party developers (businesses and brands) to create their own add-ins and bots for Skype over time. Skype still supports one-on-one and group conversations, video calls, audio calls, and other legacy features. Microsoft says the new Skype will reach Android devices over the next few weeks with the iPhone to follow in a month or so, and Mac and Windows desktops to follow later this year.
Facebook Messenger Takes a Shot at Snapchat with 'Days'
Mar 9, 2017
Facebook is updating its Messenger application with disappearing stories that behave similar to those of Snapchat and Instagram. The feature, called Messenger Day, lets people create short stories made up of photos and videos and then share them with their Facebook friends.
'Crowd Surf' Feature from Snapchat Seamlessly Merges Public Snaps
Aug 15, 2017
Snapchat hopes its latest feature, found within Snapchat Stories, will make live events far more interactive. Crowd Surf uses the audio captured at events such as concerts to create a seamless experience, allowing people to jump from viewpoint to viewpoint of all those sharing the experience in Snapchat.
YouTube to Let Top Creators Share Short Clips
Nov 29, 2017
YouTube is adopting a video feature that has already been duplicated across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and others. Creators who have more than 10,000 subscribers will be able to post Reels, short clips that can be stitched together to make a longer video.
Snapchat 2.0 Features Refreshed Chat Tools
Mar 29, 2016
Snapchat today pushed up a major update to its service that improves the app's ability to handle messages, photos, and videos. Snapchat now lets users transition between these ways of communication with a simpler user interface, and allows people to send videos or audio snippets even when recipients aren't online.
Snapchat's Lens Studio Lets Anyone Create Lenses
Dec 14, 2017
Snapchat today debuted Lens Studio, a desktop application that makes it easy for anyone to design and create Lenses for the Snapchat community. Snapchat says Lens Studio is free to Mac and Windows, and guides creative types through the process of animating their ideas for mobile devices.