Today, we are all too familiar with the advantages of a video calling on the Internet. It’s practically free-of-cost and provides a rich user experience in terms of being able to visually see the person on the other end of the line. There are several mobile and PC apps dedicated to video calling – from Google’s Hangout and Duo to Apple’s Facetime. More recently, even Whatsapp has integrated video calls on their instant messaging platform. However, in 2003, it was none other than Skype that brought video calling to the mainstream. After going through several changes in its design and functionality, the Microsoft owned platform has finally decided to include an option that was requested by most of its 5 million users worldwide – the option to record video calls.
Indeed, Skype users have forever demanded Microsoft to include the functionality to record video calls. Previously, many users have resorted to using third-party applications that recorded a video call with family, friends or business partners. Finally, on 4th September, the Skype online blog posted an update that mentioned that the latest version of Skype will feature the option to record video calls. Once someone starts recording, all the parties involved in the call will be notified of the ongoing process – eliminating surprises. Skype will record everyone’s video in group video calls as well as any screens shared during the call. The recorded video call will be available on the cloud for the following 30 days, during which the user has the option to download and save it on a personal device in mp4 format.
In late 2017, Skype changed the design of its mobile app that angered many of its users. By including features like “Highlights” – an obvious rip-off of Snapchat stories, the essence of Skype was lost as calling became harder than ever. Peter Skillman, the director of design for Skype and Outlook, said, “We explored some design changes and heard from customers that we overcomplicated some of our core scenarios. Calling became harder to execute and Highlights didn’t resonate with a majority of users”. Since then, Skype had promised to roll-back its mobile app to a design that resembles the designs of the past. However, before that could happen, Skype gave its users the good news of video-chat recording instead.
However, the option to record video calls will be implemented at a later date on Windows 10 platform. Microsoft hasn’t mentioned why Windows 10 is singled out since it is the latest version of their operating system. However, incompatibilities might be the reason which will require more time to fix.
At the end of the day, Skype wishes to design its app across all platforms – PC and mobile, giving it one universal look that focusses on video calls rather than other gimmicks. For more than 15 years, Skype has been the de-facto platform for video calling, especially in business and academic setting. Skype’s new update that featured ‘Highlights’ might be done to attract the youth, but Skype should instead stick to its basics and ensure that users have a seamless video calling session with multiple people residing in multiple countries.