Microsoft has launched a new version of Skype for Android, with an iPhone upgrade scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. Skype, acquired by Microsoft in 2009, is a popular voice and chat messaging platform that hasn’t had a major upgrade since 2006. According to an article in TechCrunch, Microsoft says that the revamped design has been a work in progress for over a year. In addition to adding Facebook Messenger-like expressions and reactions to group chats with colors, GIFs, stickers, and Mojis, the new Skype version offers productivity-boosting features. A new “Find” panel makes it easier to search conversations, and add-ins and bots now connect to businesses and brands from within the app, including popular sites such as Expedia, StubHub and BigOven. The biggest addition to Skype is Highlights, a Snapchat-like feature that lets users easily take or assemble photos and videos to post, or send to contacts as a Highlights reel.

From the story: “If social networks have given you the stage on which to perform your life, the new Skype gives you the additional equivalent of the local coffeehouse or corner pub, where you meet people on a daily basis to deepen your relationships,” explains Amritansh Raghav, Corporate Vice President of Skype, about the new design’s focus on enhancing users’ real social connections. “We call that set of interactions your personal network,” he says.

Link: TechCrunch

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