I have a hard time understanding the concept of sharing photos or videos with other people. While I do understand that it can be useful at times, say wedding photos or special moments, the increase in shared media is what I don't really get.
There must be something to it though if you consider how popular applications such as Snapchat, Instagram or the recently released Skype Qik (pronounced Quick) are.
Skype Qik is a free video messenger by Microsoft for the popular mobile platforms Android, iOS and Windows Phone. What is interesting about it is that it does not require a Skype or Microsoft account. In fact, it requires no account at all to start a conversation using it.
The app offers two main modes of operation. The first provides you with options to record a video and let friends know about it afterwards using the phone's address book.
The second starts a group chat first to which you can post video clips that you create using your device.
The interface is minimalistic. You pull down the screen to record a new video and can invite friends to chat either before you start the recording or after you are done. People can be added using the phone's address book.
All videos are displayed in a timeline in chat with the maker and time listed there as well. The videos can be played as often as they remain available.
Qik, just like Snapchat, offers options to erase videos from conversations. This is done with a tap on the trash icon in chat and the selected video will be removed from all devices automatically when that happens. Conversations are also automatically removed after two weeks.
Microsoft notes that it may still be possible to capture and save videos using third-party tools and apps, and that creators don't have control over that.
Recipients need to use the Qik application as well to join conversations and watch videos. If a contact is not already recognized as a Qik user -- presumably by phone number -- a SMS invite is sent out. Skype Qik asks for permission by default whenever that happens but you can disable that in the settings.
There you can also enable that messages are only downloaded over WiFi.
If you like to share videos regularly with a group of contacts, then Skype Qik may be worth a try. It is a cross-platform app that does not require an account and works reasonably well out of the box.
It could use a couple of extra features though, for instance an option to preview a recording before it is posted to chat, or options to add more people to chat.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.