A little while ago, amidst Facebook's ever-expanding Snapchat duplication efforts, this tweet was doing the rounds:
Pretty funny, right? Everyone - even Microsoft Office - is looking to add Stories.
Well as it turns out, Microsoft are looking to tap into the Stories trend - not through Excel, but through an almost equally unlikely platform, Skype.
You can see the new Skype stories clone - called 'Highlights' - at around the 34 second mark of the above video. As explained by Skype:
"The next time you're on an adventure exploring the world (or relaxing poolside on a deserved break), share your experience with Skype's new feature: Highlights. Highlights lets you create a highlight reel of your day with photos and videos, so you can share everyday moments."
In fairness, the enhanced focus on messaging in the re-vamped Skype app does make sense. Everyone knows of Skype as a video calling tool, but newer platforms like Snapchat and Messenger, along with the rise of live-streaming, have gradually encroached on the video calling market. As such, Skype's trying to give their users more options to keep them coming back, broadening their toolset to make it a more engaging experience across various communication methods.
You already have a lot of contacts on Skype, now you can also message them using Skype's new, brightly coloured messaging options.
The new tools have all the now common messaging features, like emoji responses and stickers, it all looks pretty good. But similar to Google's Allo and Duo apps, it's going to be a challenge for Skype to get people away from their current weapons of choice and to move their conversations and groups to a new tool.
But then again, Skype needs to do something to keep up or their risk sliding into obsolescence. As such, adding messaging capacity is really a necessary step. Despite it being a copy of everything else that's out there. Despite it being another Snapchat clone.
From a marketing perspective, many businesses still use Skype, and this will give them new communication options to consider - and maybe, through the use of Highlights, you might have a new avenue to create more connection with your audience. This may be particularly true now, while not many people are using it - if you have business contacts on Skype, they likely have push notifications switched on. You might be able to use it as a promotional opportunity. Maybe.
If they see good adoption of their new messaging options, it'll become a more relevant consideration in this regard.
Now, I wonder what Miranda Kerr thinks of all this...