After a four month beta test run, Skype today announced that its video messaging feature will now be available for all users.
Leave a Video Message After the Beep
Connecting with friends, family and colleagues can be tough, even with all of the ways to communicate, as people aren't always available to chat when their contacts are.
Skype introduced the video messaging feature in beta in February. It acts much like a video answering machine for users who want to show or tell a contact something, but are unable to do so because the contact is away, busy or offline.
Skype Video Messaging adds another great way to keep in touch with friends and family during life’s most meaningful moments,” wrote Yasmin Khan, a Skype product manager. “You can capture a fleeting memory, create a heartfelt reminder or simply tell a friend or family member 'wish you were here' even when they aren't online.”
In its preview format Skype Video Messaging was only available for Mac, Android and iOS users and was limited to 20 free messages, but today was released as a free tool for all users and for a variety of devices: Windows desktop, Windows 8, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.
To leave a message for an online, but unavailable or offline contact, all a user has to do is click on the video message button. Once the message -- which is limited to three minutes and under -- is recorded, the user can preview it and either re-record or send it to a contact by clicking on the envelope icon.
But What About Windows Phone?
Overall, the addition of this video messaging feature appears to be well-liked, as many users note it adds to how well they can communicate and connect with family and friends.
Video Messages allow users to communicate in situations when a video call is not available and sending a photo or email just won't do,” wrote Andrew Kameka on MobileBurn.
Still, many were puzzled as to why Windows Phone wasn't included on the list of compatible devices since as Skype is a Microsoft product it should have been.
The feature is available on essentially every platform ... except Windows Phone, which seems a little odd considering the fact that Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011,” wrote GeekWire's Taylor Soper.
If and when Windows Phone will get the video messaging feature remains to be seen, as Khan didn't mention anything about it in the blog post nor did any reports have an answer for its exclusion.
A Complete Microsoft Package
Recently Skype has been working with other Microsoft products to improve their overall capabilities. In addition to now being available through Outlook.com, Skype and Microsoft Lync can now be used together so that a user can reach more of their contacts.