Instant Messaging client Skype has been one of the widely used applications out there. It’s so popular that there’s actually a word for long distance calls these days – Skyping. While Skype is most widely used for long distance calls, it’s also a very popular video chat client. And after Microsoft recently acquired Skype, we expected major changes to come forth. Microsoft gave a hint of that by ditching Windows Live Messenger and making Skype its only IM client. And now, with an update to the Skype app on Android and iOS, the folks have introduced a new feature called Video Message. This, as the name suggests is a very nifty feature which allows users to record short video messages of up to 3 minutes and send them to their loved ones. However, there is one downside to this. It appears that this is a new revenue stream for Microsoft as users can only do up to 20 free video messages. And after the limit is reached, they will need to get a premium account of Skype to keep the service going. Just when we were beginning to think that this new feature will be widely used, Microsoft manages to wreck it. While they are within their full rights to do it, it certainly takes all the fun out of it if you’re paying for a feature as simple as video message. Cross platform IM clients like Whatsapp and others do it for free.
This feature however is very handy if you’re planning to leave a short message to your buddies, under 3 minutes. We however wish this feature was free, but we guess Microsoft is in a position where it has to try and monetize with almost every service out there. Skype is probably the only positive investment Microsoft has made last year, with all of its services failing to kick off. Windows Phone 8 and the new Windows 8 Pro operating system saw very lukewarm response. The only sliver of hope for Microsoft has been its partnership with Nokia, which saw smartphones like the Lumia 920 launch in 2012. Despite that, the smartphone isn’t one of the hottest selling devices in the market. So it would make sense for Microsoft to make the most of its existing services. The folks at Redmond however have plenty of plans for the future. One report states that the company is going to launch a killer new successor to the widely popular Xbox 360 console. Some claim this is the Xbox 720, while many of us just call it the new Xbox. Thankfully for Microsoft, it has plenty of services to bank on if nothing works.
Skype’s new video message feature might not appear on all devices at once, so please be patient if you don’t see it on your Android or iOS device. Let us know how you like the feature, by dropping a line below. For users who haven’t downloaded the Skype app yet, it’s free on iOS, Android and Windows Phones. In the meantime, let’s hope MS keeps updating Skype with newer and better features like these.