Skype launches short video-messaging service Qik to compete with Vine

15 Oct 2014

Microsoft and Skype are looking to make Skype more mobile friendly with the launch of Qik, a new 42-second video-messaging service that aims to compete with Vine.

The service, which launches from today, is attempting to capitalise on the estimated 300m people already signed up to the video-call service, but who have yet to fully adapt to the idea of using it on their mobile.

Designed to be used in tandem with Skype, Qik shows many of the familiar characteristics of other popular apps, particularly with its ‘self-destruct’ feature that will delete any video messages after two weeks.

Another feature included is Qik Flik as an attempt to tap into the internet’s love of gifs.

The Skype blog post describing Qik explains Flik will allow users to record five-second reaction clips to a person’s video message that is so far available on both Android and iOS, but will only come to Windows Phone in the coming months.

The obvious difference between Qik and Vine is users are able to record longer videos with Qik, but also privacy is a major factor in the app, as contacts on the app are not shared online and are only accessed through the phone.

Qik’s launch comes three years after Microsoft had purchased the company originally called Qik for about US$150m but the original app was close last April to making way for Skype’s own Qik app.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic