The radical re-design of consumer Skype has not had the response that Microsoft had hoped for. In fact, the overarching opinion is one filled with hatred and frustration. Customers want to know why Microsoft would transform their already popular app into something that seems like a badly-done copy of things like Snapchat and WhatsApp?
While both Android and iPhone customers have had the updated app for a little while now, the experience isn’t getting any better. Many of the key features that we came to know and love about the Skype app have been removed, in favour of huge emojis and an annoyingly garish colour scheme. It’s no wonder that ratings of the Skype app have plummeted to only 1 star on the UK app store and 1.5 stars in the US.
The Worst Skype Update Ever…
Far from the experience we’ve come to expect from Microsoft, the new Skype app seems like a haphazard attempt to fit in with the “in” crowd, by collecting together a range of knock-off features and trying to glue them into the spaces where previously helpful elements existed.
Microsoft radically re-designed their Skype app to take the focus more to instant messaging, but the experience has changed much of what we liked about Skype in the first place. We appreciated the seamless, simple, and almost business-level approach to communication. We could rely on Skype to give us an experience that was straightforward and free of the added fluff and glitter. Now, Skype seems to have completely overhauled that experience in favour of giving its users the pointless ability to change the colours of chat boxes.
A lot of the key elements that users loved about Skype have been abolished, such as the ability to actually see who’s online without having to be a certified detective. The app won’t work with a Bluetooth headset anymore either, and you can’t send videos outside of the application.
The new layout is cluttered, annoying, and confusing. Numerous people have responded to the update with anguish, telling Microsoft that they can no longer set themselves to “invisible” – which, let’s face it, was perfect for when you wanted to check who was online without immediately being plagued by messages. At the same time, finding the call buttons has become a challenge of its own, and statuses are invisible, so you have to scroll through each contact individuals to see whether they’re “active now” or not.
Microsoft claims that they’ve listened to the disappointing reviews of their customers and will be making some changes, but for now, it’s difficult to maintain loyalty to the company when their consumer app is so undeniable atrocious.
It seems that the latest update issue for Skype could be a lesson to everyone in the business and app space to stay true to what makes you unique. If you throw off your USP to simply staple on updates that worked for other applications, you’re probably not going to get the consumer response you were hoping for.
Read the conversation on CommsTrader… it’s heated!
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.