Skype, the unreliable video conferencing programme created in 2003 and acquired by Microsoft, had only one purpose. But it failed to deliver. It is perplexing. Their rival is so despised that there is a separate name to describe how despised it is.
Like everyone else, I detest Zoom. To describe the widespread disapproval of Zoom, experts are grasping at straws. The reasons given include 'lack of eye contact,' 'excessive eye contact,' and 'cognitive overload.' There's also the perplexing assertion that 'video calls' in general are disliked by the world. The reason why everyone hates Zoom calls is because they just equate them with work; if everyone hated video calls, everyone would be annoyed by FaceTime.
The Skype user experience right now
Despite the unexpected figure of 40 million active users—an increase of 70% since the pandemic started—no one appears to be interested in this software, as the majority of evaluations on the App Store are, on average, from three years ago.
In 2022, will anyone be using Skype? Yes, I did. Here is what occurred.
The desktop and mobile versions of Skype were just revived, and I downloaded them. Since no one in my circle had it downloaded on their phone, I had to plead with them to do so and create accounts as well. The conversation regularly dropped, the video quality was hazy, and my best friend's head appeared to be made of pixelated thumbs despite the fibre optic connection being installed in my home.
Skype has been retired?
All of this motivated me to look through the remnants of the previous Skype marketing effort, and what I discovered startled me.
The majority of the marketing news seems to date from no earlier than 2017. Who would subject a staff to that? I went to the website and was happy to see that Microsoft will be discontinuing Skype for Business in 2021. Personal connection is at the centre of the new marketing strategy. Check out this screenshot of their landing page as of January 20, 2022.
The fact that Skype appears to have finally concluded it will never be Google Meets or Zoom is fantastic. A communication tool geared at family and friends, Skype is here.
On the landing page, there is, however, a spark of originality; someone had composed a wonderful piece about two Skype-using college sweethearts. Despite this, Skype's charming epidemic campaign squandered the chance to highlight the aspect of the service that truly sets it apart—the fact that the majority of users do not connect with Skype for business. This isn't a failure, despite what Microsoft undoubtedly thinks. Why is this advantageous then?
Has Skype expired? Reviving a deceased Skype
If Microsoft genuinely wanted to, Skype could brashly present itself as the direct rival to Zoom and every other work software. Consider how different Skype is from the other video calling programmes in its network if their website emphasised the tiredness associated with business calls.
They might be as nasty about this lack of linkage as the well-known Apple versus PC advertising from the 2000s, or they could discreetly clarify that their notification sound doesn't cause work flashbacks.
Similar to this, the product design team might look for design inspiration in honey images and language, such as writing 'connect' rather than 'call,' or 'chat rooms' could be referred to as 'living rooms.' With antiseptic blue and white minimalist designs becoming increasingly popular, this would set them apart from other video apps.
Sadly, we didn't receive that.
Be damned to innovation and resurgence. A stale marketing campaign and a user interface that blends in with the crowd were presented to us.