Skype has just launched a new feature, video messages and it does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows you to send a video message. The premise is very simple you open the latest version of Skype and choose who you want to send a video message to then record your video and click “send” and that’s it.
You can reply to a video message with a video message of your own or just a text message. You can add a title and description so that the recipient gets the context of what your message is about. You can try the feature for free and send two messages but after that if you want to take advantage of the feature then you will have to upgrade to a premium Skype account.
This service differs from Vine and the new video feature on Instagram in two ways:
- The video can be up to 3 minutes in length compared to 15 seconds on Instagram and 6 seconds on Vine.
- You send the message directly to the individual rather than it being public (of course you can set your Instagram profile to private by default but any video that you add will still be seen by anybody that you have allowed to follow you)
Skype is not really a social network in the same way as Instagram or Vine/Twitter, but it is definitely social media. I am trying to work out who will be most interested in this feature. I do not particularly use Skype myself other than for business purposes and I cannot see too many companies finding much use for this feature. I can see it being of use to those who utilise Skype for personal use. If you travel abroad and you are in a different time zone to your family then it might be useful to record and send a video message to say that you have arrived safely.
In the Skype video to promote the service the storyline is all about capturing moments that you can share with loved ones who cannot be present but I am not sure how often this is really likely to occur. Usually those sorts of “magic moments” are the ones that are captured by accident when the camera just happened to be recording. Maybe I am just a cynical old curmudgeon but I do not see how this will make people want to use Skype more than they already do.
The new service is available on the following devices:
- Windows desktop
- Android phones
- Android tablets
Bizarrely for a company that is owned by Microsoft the new service is not available on Windows phones.
Skype video messaging is probably going to be useful to those who use Skype heavily already but I doubt it will lead to many new people using the service.