Skype Insider Updates

Skype have been pushing out a lot of UI improvements to their Insider Channel recently. Microsoft’s messaging strategy has been a mess until last year. They have now folded Yammer and Kaizala and Skype Business into Teams. GroupMe got a major design overhaul recently that made it one of the top apps in the US among students recently. Now these new attention that Skype has been getting on its 20th anniversary seems like MSFT has some renewed focus on consumer apps.
Their messaging/social apps have been folded into 3: Skype(for family&friends), GroupMe(for students) and Teams(for Work and Communities). I hope they fold Teams for Personal/Consumers into GroupMe soon. GroupMe has received VideoCalls powered by Teams recently. It only makes sense that they fold the Communities feature in teams into GroupMe so that Teams can be a Work/School platform and GroupMe can do what it does best: bringing large no of people together.

These new Skype design changes are small and they have got a lot of catching up to do. But if they could improve Skype to a good Messaging/Calling app by next year when the EU will implement mandatory cross platform compatibility for messaging apps - they could bring a lot of people to use Bing and other Microsoft products. It could bring some much needed competition to a market truly dominated by Meta and Apple in terms of consumer usage. Meta making WhatsApp more complicated to use by adding new features and their plans to implement ads could steer a lot of people away to something else. Can Skype become that app?
I absolutely hate that they are bringing Channels into the Chat tab. It’s gonna make a lot of people angry. They should have replaced the useless Today Tab with Channels. Today tab only suggests crappy articles. On the other hand the articles in Channels are high quality (similar to what you get in Artifact app)
No one seems to be covering this except maybe MSPowerUser and xda developers. Not even Windows Central! Why aren’t you guys looking into these!!


Interesting insights. I’ve been planning to write about Skype, but the article would be critical of the platform’s MSN push:

I hate the MSN Feed as well. It gives you a bunch of crap sources by default - if you block the sources that publishes these types of articles you could make the feed better and useful. But it is a time consuming process and most users wouldn’t even bother to do that.

I think the complaints arose about the MSN feed recently have gained the attention of the higher-ups. The News Sources in the Channels feed are extremely good compared to the Today/MSN/Start Feed.

While you are writing the article being critical of the MSN feed - you could suggest to replace the Today feed with news sources from the Channels tab in Skype. Maybe make it mandatory for the user to select the sources and topics they are interested in before giving them a default feed with crappy articles across all platforms - just how it is mandatory in apps such as Artifact.

They have been integrating bing features into Skype heavily recently- if you could also suggest them to give user a single setting where they could turn off Bing Bot, Bing suggested writing and the Today feed, it would calm a lot of angry Skype users if implemented.

Skype also needs to generate some revenue to keep it running - so I don’t have any problem with the Today feed if they could improve the quality of articles.

They are testing a Channels feature that would show news channels in your Chats tab by default - this is something that is just implemented for the purpose of generating revenue and traffic - they forgot that Skype is a communication platform. If it gets rolled out, people are going to see a lot of chats related to new sources in between their personal chats. This is gonna generate fury among Skype users (~35million users). There are 3 filters in chats now: All(Personal Chats + Channels), Chats, Channels. If they could condense that into just Chats and Channels or Chats, Groups and Channels - it would make sense. But the All filter looks to be designed to make users unhappy.

Now you could access news from Chats tab and Today tab. They also tested a feature where they tested showing 10 trending articles in the search bar of Skype. (A lot of insiders complained about it and their testing of a weather icon - so I hope they won’t roll them out) Are they trying to turn Skype into Bing!!

They haven’t bothered to fix Skype’s heating issues and problems with Screen-sharing or a way to reduce the number of spam messages - but they have time to add more bloat to Skype​:man_shrugging::sweat_smile:

It would be great if they take the Channels tab out of the Chats tab and replace the Today tab with Channels. And this new Channels tab could have two categories: For You(For the suggested articles from Today feed) and a Following tab(that shows the chats/topics from Channels).

A lot of insiders have already suggested these in the Insider chat - and nothing changed. If your article could have some effect - that would be something.:blush::crossed_fingers:

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