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Skype tries to take on Snapchat with quirky video app called Qik

Skype has just relaunched an app called Qik (pronounced “quick” and not to be confused with Kwik). Unlike its flagship Skype service — which is somewhat formal — the new video messaging app is geared for all those impulse moments you’d love to share with friends but certainly not the public.

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In April this year, the original mobile video streaming service, Qik, was put down only to be relaunched now as a mobile video messaging app.

As the name suggests, Qik videos (or Fliks as they’ve been officially knighted) can go up to 42 seconds only. Why this specific number? Well, because it’s the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything of course.

Similar to Vine clips or Instagram, the videos are square. Unlike those two, Qik Fliks have a rather short lifespan of just two weeks. That’s if the recorder doesn’t decide to terminate the clips sooner.

“Keep your chats in shape by deleting messages whenever you want — they’ll be removed from everyone else’s phone too. Once a message is two weeks old and everyone has forgotten about it, it disappears,” the site reassures those prone to sharing moments they might later regret.

Of course the receiver can always save the video elsewhere before it gets deleted. So don’t go too crazy with your Fliks.

The app follows the growing trend of Snapchat-esque apps that have been popping up in the last two years including Facebook’s Slingshot. The popular video messaging app has a fast growing number of 100 million monthly active users and is valued at an incredible US$10-billion.

Like many other messaging apps, Qik allows you to send Fliks to everyone in your phone’s contact list. The receiver will get a push notification after the video has finished buffering. If he or she doesn’t have Qik installed, they’ll just get an SMS prompting them to do so.

Users can create groups or categories to spread the video love and all those quirky moments with the relevant crowds. The compiled group conversations can then be played back with all the Fliks stringed together, like a short movie.

Strangely, even though Microsoft is the official parent of Skype, Windows Phones can’t send Qik Fliks. Until an update arrives in the near future, the app is limited to Android and iOS smartphones only.

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