Still looking for that Skype Classic download? Hold off just a little longer. Microsoft’s attempt at baking popular social media features into Skype appears to have backfired, with the firm committing to removing some of its new features just a year after launch. The messaging and video/voice call app was bought by Microsoft back in 2011 after close to 10 years on the market, but many feel as if the takeover has changed the pioneering messaging program for the worse.
Microsoft implemented features such as stickers and stories, commonly found on competing instant messaging apps, back in June 2017 but now believes that the updates “didn’t resonate” with its core audience.
A blog post from Skype Design Director Peter Skillman says, “Our new navigation model removes redundant and underused features that create clutter” while setting a deadline on downloading past Highlights for September 30 for those who did happen to use the retired feature.
At its core, Skype pushed ahead in the days of instant messaging apps by bringing internet calls to mobile phones far before Apple reinvented the wheel with the iPhone and kick-started the smartphone generation. It tempted users with far cheaper international calls than their cellphone price plans would typically allow, enabling users to even call up computers and vice-versa. At home, Skype was a go-to application for instant messaging, voice, and video calls similar to Microsoft’s own MSN and Windows Live platform.
But since being bought up by Microsoft, users have accused the firm of cluttering up the application and causing more harm than good. Core features of the app remain, but since more integrated apps like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and WhatsApp took charge, Microsoft has attempted to recover the lost casual audience by introducing features similar to that of its competitors. The business-oriented users left relying on Skype feel like the “increasingly complicated features get in the way of its core uses”.
The newest design alterations can already be seen on the latest Skype update, so it might be worth giving it one last shot before you dig around for Skype Classic