Microsoft's Skype Qik app tries to simplify video messaging

— 9:21 AM on October 14, 2014

Ever thought text and pictures just didn't have enough 'zazz? A new companion app to Skype developed by a "small team of Skype designers and developers" now allows users to communicate with short video messages. Dubbed Skype Qik, the app is available now for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone, and Microsoft claims it's both "fun and easy to use" and "as spontaneous as messaging but as intimate as calling."

Thanks to Qik, awkward British people can summon their friends to eat leftover pizza—and said friends can turn them down politely. All right!

Along with straight-up video messaging, Qik also lets users send Qik Fliks, which are five-second GIF-like clips that can be recorded and stored ahead of time. Microsoft says regular video messages are stored for only two weeks, and they can be deleted after being sent, even if they've already been watched. So, you should be able to do some damage control after drunk-Qiking your ex.

Oh, and yes, Microsoft says you can block contacts... but weirdly, only on Android and Windows Phone. Contact blocking will be available to iPhone users "in the coming months," Microsoft says. I guess the company really wants users to try the video deletion feature.

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