skype big update
The new Skype update gives users more ways to be creative in group chats. Skype

Skype introduced an update Thursday that went above and beyond a few bug fixes or app cleanup. The update completely revamped the app. Everything was updated, from the way chats look to the way users communicate with the friends, a release from Skype said.

The update even added a feature very similar to "Stories," which started on Snapchat but since migrated to apps like Instagram and Facebook. The update comes after months of tough competition between Snapchat and Instagram that caused some shake-up among users who feel torn between the apps.

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The list of improvements added to Skype is long and could take some getting used to for users. Maybe the most glaring changes are in the general chat feature that many users access regularly. The update made the chats more expressive and bright, and revamped group chats that make chatting easier and give users more options on what to share and how it looks. Users can now customize chats with colors and use reaction buttons to react to messages without typing out a reply.

Maybe the most competitive addition was the introduction of “highlights,” the “Stories” competitor that allows users to create a highlight reel of the day, much like Snapchat. Just like Snapchat and Instagram, users can either send photos and videos they take in the app via direct message or they can post it to their highlights. Once this feature goes live, to access the camera swipe right and then record or capture. If you post to highlights your contacts on the app will be able to react with emoticons or send a message.

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Group chats now have more add-ins and bots that can keep the conversation going or help users make plans with additions like the StubHub or Expedia bots. The update adds apps, services, news and more to the app so you never have to leave it when making plans or catching up on world events, and you can keep your friends updated too.

The goal is to keep Skype relevant and serve user needs while building on its original purpose of connecting people with the closest and most important people in their lives. A release about the update said the goal was “to help you create meaningful connections, regardless of the distance, in new, simple and intuitive ways. And with the new Skype we’re closer than ever to bringing your world together.

The new version of the app starts rolling out worldwide on mobile devices first and then in desktop format. The rollout will be gradual starting on Androids and then iPhone and iPad devices. The new version for Mac and Windows will be available in the coming months, the release from Skype said.