Microsoft is hoping to capitalize on the popularity of podcasts and videos to make Skype more appealing to content creators. The company is now testing a new “Skype for Content Creators” mode for its desktop app that will allow creators to place and record calls using Skype software, which can either be streamed live or imported into other apps for further editing before posting.
The feature is currently in “preview” – Microsoft’s term for software that’s being tested with select users ahead of a broader, public release.
Explains the company in a blog post, Skype for Content Creators will allow digital broadcasters, streamers, and vloggers to record videos, podcasts and live streaming calls “without having to invest in expensive studio equipment.” Instead, Windows 10 and Mac users will be able to use the Content Creators mode to place and record their calls directly in NDI-enabled software like Wirecast, Xsplit, or Vmix, for example. Users won’t need other recording or screen capture software, the company notes. The look-and-feel of the call can be customized, too.
The feature will work best for those who record video chats with other remote guests – like for a weekly call-in show – but it can also work for calls that are live streamed to other platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
If the call is not being live-streamed, the recording can be imported into other apps for further editing, like Adobe Premier Pro or Adobe Audition.
This isn’t the first time Skype has sought to leverage a specific use case to encourage people to adopt its communication software. For instance, the company launched Skype Interviews last year, aimed at recruiters who want to test candidates’ coding skills during their chats. In both cases, Skype is targeting a subset of its users with features built just for them. Retaining users and appealing to newcomers is critical as Skype’s growth has plateaued in recent years. At Microsoft Build 2016, the company said it has 300 million users – the same figure it cited on Skype’s 10th birthday several years prior.
Microsoft isn’t the only company trying to simply streaming video for content creators, as of late, however. YouTube in March also launched a new feature that lets users “go live” from their desktop without an encoder.
Skype for Content Creators will go live this summer, but will be demoed at the NAB conference in Las Vegas next week.