Skype Qik, Microsoft’s attempt at spinning off video messaging into a simplified mobile application, is shutting down. The app was first introduced in fall 2014 to serve a different audience than the larger, more fully-featured, Skype application. Instead of offering real-time chat, screen sharing and audio and video calling, Qik was designed only for asynchronous video messaging.
Skype Qik was launched in 2014 following Microsoft’s $100 million acquisition of Qik in 2011. The app allowed you to record short video clips and send them to people — so basically, it was kind of like Instagram, but for videos.
The main USP of the app was in the technology that went into making it. Not only did it keep you from having to wait by notifying you after downloading the messages, but it also didn’t run in the background — extending the battery life.
However, with the onslaught of IM, image and video based chat services — including Skype itself — Microsoft felt that Qik had become a tad redundant — perhaps even obsolete.
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.
However, according to a post on the Skype Developers’ blog, many of the ideas from Qik have now made their way over to Skype’s main application – including video messaging. Skype has also introduced fun features, like filters, to make messaging more personal, as well as other tools for communicating with groups – like group video calls on mobile.
Because Skype now supports Qik’s core functionality, the Qik app is being shut down.
Of course, what Skype also hints at in its blog post is that the Qik app bombed. When referring to how Qik was designed to help users share moments with friends, the Skype team writes:
“Since [Qik’s launch], 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.”
In other words, Qik did not gain traction. Skype’s user base stuck with Skype. According to App Annie, Qik’s current ranking is #350 in the Social Networking category on the iOS App Store, and #239 in the Communications category on Google Play. It’s practically invisible.
The app was available for Android, iOS and Windows. Microsoft has kept the app functioning until March the 24th on all platform, so that users can save any messages they want. After that, the application will cease to function and Skype will take its place as Microsoft’s video based IM.