Microsoft Unveils Next Generation of Skype With Slew of New Features

Microsoft this week unveiled “the next generation of Skype.”

The company’s popular video messaging service has been “rebuilt from the ground up,” according to the Skype team.

“We’ve made group chats more lively, expressive, and—most importantly—personalized, so you can chat the way you want,” the company said in an announcement.

Some of the new features include customization options related to chat colors and emoticons. The new Skype will also emphasis social sharing; for example, Highlights lets you create a reel of your day with photos and videos to share everyday moments with contacts.

“The new Skype is your canvas, and now you’re free to share in more expressive ways with your closest friends, family and groups,” the company says.

There’s also new bots and searchability, adding some Slack-like functionality to the platform, although the productivity tools are not as robust.

Microsoft affirms it is “the best Skype we’ve ever built, inside and out.”

The new Skype will roll out worldwide, first on mobile “over the coming weeks” and then to desktop in a few months.