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Microsoft today is launching a completely revamped version of its Skype application, with a new set of features that draw obvious inspiration from messaging rivals, like Messenger and Snapchat. Yes, that means Skype now has its own Stories-like feature, which it’s calling Highlights, as well as a redesign that puts the camera only a swipe away from your chats, among other things.

The company says Skype’s makeover has been in the works for well over a year, and represents the biggest change to the platform since the introduction of video sharing back in 2006. In other words, it’s not necessarily a fast-follow cloning attempt built in response to the Snapchat threat, )and Facebook’s copying of Snapchat across its platforms), but rather something Skype has been working on for a longer period of time.

“If social networks have given you the stage on which to perform your life, the new Skype gives you the additional equivalent of the local coffeehouse or corner pub, where you meet people on a daily basis to deepen your relationships,” explains Amritansh Raghav, Corporate Vice President of Skype, about the new design’s focus on enhancing users’ real social connections. “We call that set of interactions your personal network,” he says.

The idea with the revamp is to make Skype a better tool for the sort of communication and sharing that takes place among members of Skype’s more closely connected network, which often includes family and friends. That means Skype is tacking on ephemeral sharing as part of its feature set, along with Stories, and other camera-first inspired features.

It’s also today rolling out its own set of bots and chat add-ins to rival Facebook Messenger.

Highlights – Skype’s take on Stories

In the new version of Skype’s app, you can just swipe to pull up the camera – a now familiar interaction, thanks to the camera-first design found in today’s social apps.

You can then snap a photo or video – which you can…

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