Microsoft to Discontinue Skype Qik Video-Messaging App

Qik will be shut down next month, and Skype on Windows Phone gains new photo-sharing options.

Microsoft Skype

Skype's growing list of video-messaging options has claimed a victim, the stand-alone Skype Qik app, Microsoft announced this week.

The Redmond, Wash., software maker is shutting down Skype Qik on March 24, giving users roughly a month to save video messages they wish to keep before Microsoft switches off the service. In essence, the company made Qik redundant by bulking up Skype's own video-sharing capabilities, Microsoft revealed in a Feb. 22 announcement on the Skype Garage & Updates blog.

"In 2014, we launched Skype Qik, a mobile video messaging app to help share moments with groups of friends," wrote the Skype team. "Since then, we have learned that many of you are already doing these things in Skype, and as a result, we migrated some of Qik's most used features into the Skype app you already know and love."

Amid intensifying competition in the mobile online video-calling and communications market, Microsoft announced during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it had acquired Qik. At the time, the video-recording and -sharing app had 5 million users. In 2014, following Snapchat and other apps with self-destructing messages, Microsoft released a Skype Qik app for Android and iPhone, and Windows Phone that erases shared videos after two weeks.

Meanwhile, Qik's functionality has been filtering into the main Skype app.

"We've enabled video-messaging in Skype and fun features such as filters, to make your messages even more personal," noted the Microsoft staffers. "To send a video message in Skype today, simply look for the video message icon in the media bar," they instructed.

Skype Windows Phone Photo Sharing

Also this week, Microsoft announced that members of the Windows Insider early-access program can try out new photo-sharing options that will appear in the new integrated Skype experience for Windows 10 Mobile.

"Our top ask in the Preview of Skype integration for Windows 10 Mobile preview has been to add support to share files and photos, so that's exactly what we did. You can share photos via the Messaging app in Skype mode," wrote Microsoft in a separate Feb. 22 announcement.

Mojis, short video clips that can be inserted into Skype chats from partner studios, including BBC, Paramount and Disney Muppets, are also now available to "Insiders" testing the latest build of the Windows operating system for smartphones.

"In the Preview of Skype integration for Windows 10 Mobile, you will find Mojis in the emoticon roster after switching to Skype mode from the Messaging app. You will also find Mojis in the emoticon roster in the stand-alone Skype application on Windows Phone 8 and above," stated Microsoft.

The Skype team has been busy since the beginning of the year. Last month, the company made its real-time Skype Translator technology available to all Windows users, added group video calling capabilities to its free consumer mobile apps and helped enable Skype call scheduling on the mobile Outlook apps for Android and iOS.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...