Microsoft to phase out Skype Qik video chat app as of March 24

Microsoft's Skype Qik video chat app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone is going away as of March 24. A number of its features are now part of Skype itself.

Microsoft will no longer support the Skype Qik video chat app that it launched for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone as of March 24.

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A February 22 Skype blog post attributed the decision to eliminate the app to the availability of some of the same features that debuted in Qik now being available in Skype itself.

The last day Skype Qik will be available for use will be March 24. Users need to save any special messages they want to keep before that date, since after that time, they will no longer be able to send or recieve Skype Qik messages, Microsoft officials said.

"In 2014, we launched Skype Qik, a mobile video messaging app to help share moments with groups of friends. Since then, we have learned that many of you are already doing these things in Skype, and as a result, we migrated some of Qik's most used features into the Skype app you already know and love," officials said in today's blog post.

Video messaging is available in Microsoft's individual Skype apps, as are filters. Microsoft recently made available for iOS and Android phones free group video calling, a feature that is still to come for Windows Phones running Windows 10 Mobile.

A small team within Skype developed Skype Qik in six months. The original intention of the application was to address the part of the mobile market that is moving away from scheduled, one-to-one communications, Microsoft execs said two years ago. The company wanted an app that was as lightweight and convenient as SMS and IM, officials said at that time. Users didn't need Skype to use Skype Qik; they just needed a mobile phone number.

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