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Skype goes back-to-basics, ditches unused Snapchat-like features

Microsoft has announced it is redesigning its Skype client once again, ditching some newer features following a backlash from users.

The company says it its ‘refocusing on the fundamentals’ of why people use Skype, which is to make calls and send messages. It says newer features like the Snapchat-like Highlights and Capture are being removed because they failed to interest users.

“This past year we explored some design changes and heard from customers that we overcomplicated some of our core scenarios,” writes Peter Skillman, Director of Design for Skype and Outlook in a blog post. “Calling became harder to execute and Highlights didn’t resonate with a majority of users. We needed to take a step back and simplify!”

Changes are also coming to the desktop version, with chats, calls, contacts and notifications simplifying navigation. Microsoft says it has listened to feedback from users when making the changes, which will reinforce accessibility of the core functionality.

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“Your content is king,” Skillman writes. “We want to celebrate content AND give you a full range of color expression with light and dark themes. We toned down the visual range of the gradients and reintroduced a simplified Skype “Classic” blue theme—adjusted for contrast and readability. We also reduced some of the more decorative elements—such as notifications with a squiggle shape cut out—which weren’t core to getting things done. The result is a more elegant experience that brings your content to the forefront.”

The back-to-basics approach comes after a large portion of the user base rejected the Skype 8 desktop update, which attempted to revert of a more mobile-like experience. Last month the company announced it was keeping Skype Classic (Skype 7) alive for the time being in order to satisfy the concerns of those users seeking the simple stuff.

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