Skype 8.0 Receives Backlash from Users

Microsoft has re-invented the wheels once again with Skype, it’s most popular video calling and messaging app. It has been a long ride for Skype ever since it was acquired by Microsoft six years ago. There have been design changes, interface upgrades, additional features etc that were to make Skype be at a competitive edge with the likes of Facebook’s Messenger, Snapchat, Viber etc. Each year, Skype tries harder to be like the cool kid in town, but it often forgets that people don’t want it to be the new kid in town; people want Skype to be Skype.

People want to be able to use Skype as a professional app that allows them to communicate with business clients and people who they wouldn’t want on their social platforms.

Skype has long been a communication channel for businesses, primarily because at its time (before new messengers came along), the platform was one of the best. You could not have smooth video calls and live communication on any other channel better than Skype. This is why Skype remains one of the most predominant features of a website’s Contact Us page. It was and is a platform of communication for people who want to stay in touch without being invasive or social.

The recent overhaul Skype 8.0, has been heavily criticized by experts and users alike. Once more, Skype tries to be as cool as Snapchat with features as, Highlights and Capture. The Capture tab functions pretty much like Instagram and Snapchat stories, allowing you to launch into camera mode and capture a video or photo clip of whatever you’re doing. You can stick up a few cool looking emojis and put it up Highlights for others to see. While these may be noble pursuits, Microsoft really needs to understand that most people would not be making use of these features since they already have Snapchat for Snapchat. Why would they want to use Skype to broadcast to business contacts, clients or customers?

The new design will be launched for all platforms, but it has first been rolled out for Android users. The response to the design was not pleasant. The Next Web reports that the app received a 1 and 2-star rating with dramatic user reviews claiming how much they, ‘hate’ the update. In fact, users took it up to the Microsoft Community to express their anger and dislike over the design.

Most of them claiming specifically that they do not want Skype to be another Snapchat. Users reported minor problems as:

  • The inability to see who’s online and who’s not unless you enter a conversation

  • Bad aesthetics with a starting white layout instead of the traditional blue

  • Shows recent chats instead of contacts

  • Messy and buggy with sound quality problems and user interface issues

  • App crashes and lags frequently

  • Problems with notifications and message displays

And a host of other problems. A quick glance at the messages on Microsoft’s Community shows users rolling back to the previous version and disabling the update from Google Play.

If you haven’t got the Skype 8.0 yet, try not to opt for it unless you want to test it out. You can always roll back to the previous version. Skype, however, has surely got its users’ expectations wrong this time.

Farah tries to keep up with the fast-paced tech world by writing about it. She covers latest tech news and writes informative pieces to help her readers make informed decisions about their tech preferences.