Microsoft launches rival to Snapchat

Skype Qik LogoSnapchat may have had some ups and downs when it comes to privacy, but its popularity as a means of mobile communication cannot be overstated. It is no surprise that Microsoft has attempted to emulate its success with the launch of a rival app called Skype Qik.

While it bears the Skype branding, it is not integrated with the existing mobile VoIP app, instead coming as a separate program. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone already and lets you share short video clips without text or any other information included.

The videos can be transmitted in chunks lasting up to 42 seconds and, like other messaging apps, the communications between smartphone users are threaded for easy reference. So unlike Snapchat, which deletes images shortly after they are received, there will be some continuity with Skype Qik, as the clips will linger for a total of two weeks.

This should strike a balance between privacy and convenience, although increasingly savvy users may still have questions about how effective the app is at keeping their info safe.

Skype Qik is free to download and has arrived on the biggest operating systems this week for people to begin experimenting.

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