The application will be known as Skype Qik, and developers claims that it is best used for short, spur of the moment video conversations between friends. Although Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has said that Qik is supposed to be used with Skype itself, the new app can be used on its own and users do not need a Skype account to sign up for it.
“Skype started with desktop, it was really our heritage but we’ve seen users adapting and shifting to more mobile scenarios,” said Dan Chastney, principal program manager lead at Skype. “We really wanted to find a way of helping users stay connected in between their Skype calls.”
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Skype Qik: Group chats
Qik enables group conversations, with each video posted available to watch for two weeks before it is deleted. After verifying their phone number, users can begin recording videos and posting them to individual friends, or groups.
In a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, videos can be up to 42 seconds long. As well as automatically expiring after two weeks, users can choose to manually delete their own videos at any time. iOS and Android users are also able to pre-record 5-second videos known as Qik Fliks, which can be sent as generic responses to messages. The Qik Flik function will also be added to the Windows Phone app in a later update.
Security warnings for Skype Qik
Expiring video messages is not the only similarity that Qik shares with SnapChat. Security expert Mark Nunnikhoven, VP of Cloud & Emerging Technologies at Trend Micro, told PC Pro: “Qik is an interesting new service from Skype, but it’s critical to remember that the new functionality does not make [it] anonymous.”
He went on to discuss the security breaches suffered by SnapChat this year, warning users that despite expectations, images are not always only temporary. SnapChat recently suffered a a leak of 100,000 photos from a third-party provider.
Microsoft has admitted that “it may be possible for recipients to capture and save videos elsewhere before they are deleted from Qik”.