Skype redesigns. Is it a move to stay in the game?

Trycolyn Pikirayi Avatar
IM, Video Calling

So Skype recently did a massive renovation of its desktop application. Not only did it change in appearance but it also added in a few more features.

Now Skype allows you to personalise your chats; you can now pin chats for easier access like you would on WhatsApp as well as organise your contacts by status, time etc. Also, you can change the theme of the app – a feature that YouTube also recently added (guess it’s becoming a thing) and temporarily add emojies on a video call.

Apart from just personalising the appearance of your Skype, you also now can share larger files up to 300MB on Skype, something that has been enabled by the cloud sharing feature that has been introduced.

For those who have automatic updates enabled and are using Windows 7, 8 or 10, Mac or Linux OS, the update is already on your PC; that’s if you have internet connection of course. If not, then please go ahead and update it… you’re likely to love it!

Here are some of the screenshots:

Skype Redesign November 2017 screenshot Skype Redesign November 2017 screenshot

However, there has been some talk on how these new features (considering the video emojis in particular) are an appeal to the younger generation, which seem to be more inclined towards social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. The big question that then follows there might be could Skype be doing all this to stay in the game? I mean there’s no harm in doing that, which company wouldn’t want to stay in business? In fact it would be of concern if a business makes no efforts of trying to remain relevant. So maybe the actual question should be is Skype feeling the heat from other social media platforms?

Well maybe the debate starts when we establish the answers to the question of whether Skype is even competing with social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. I’ll speak for Zimbabwe.

Here in Zimbabwe, for most, Skype remains a professional tool, usually used in companies for conference calls or for interviews by individuals – which probably explains how only 0.05% of all Skype users globally are in Zim.

Therefore in the Zimbabwean context I would say no, Skype is not competing with Facebook and the likes. Skype is rather competing with other platforms whose primary role  is to provide remote conferencing services e.g. Zoom. but then again, according to SimilarWeb, Zoom does not even seem to exist in Zimbabwe. So then what is Skype competing against in Zim? Is it even something online? 

Nonetheless, for those few individuals that do not use Skype for business purposes in Zimbabwe, I’m interested to know what you are using it for. Is it to call that friend or family member that is in the diaspora? If yes, why Skype over WhatsApp and/or Facebook considering that these social networks are bundled up hence cheaper?



  1. Anonymous

    this post might benefit from screenshots of the new features

    1. Trycolyn Pikirayi

      Hey… Noted and done.


  2. Faniso

    I have a kambudzi type touch phone, so when it comes to calling my mom overseas, Skype for desktop is obviously the best tool. Whatsapp is alright for voices, but I don’t see my mom often so Skype makes better sense. On the business side, our clients still Skype call, and since all our stuff is on the machine, using a phone makes no sense. Whatsapp for Windows hasn’t been used because we’re mostly using Windows 7. A couple of users are on 8, and they still prefer Skype. I think the upgrade is just to give users more to work with. Facebook does it all the damn time!

    1. Trycolyn Pikirayi

      Quite interesting.

      So if WhatsApp Web was to introduce video calling, people are likely to jump on ship since it’s more or less about the desktop feel or availability (in a business setup that is).

  3. iponeleng

    l wanted to know where I can locate you in Bulawayo and whether you have got payment terms for the complete solar kits/systems and installations

  4. fidget spinner

    how do you unupdate skype i hate this new update so much