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Skype brings first 'talking pictures' to instant messaging

New Delhi: Microsoft's instant messaging, voice and video calling platform Skype on Thursday launched new interactive videos and moving emoticons specifically designed for India.

The new interactive videos or talking pictures, named Mojis by Skype, are the first-of-a-kind very small clips of video (both Bollywood and Hollywood) that the company claims will revolutionise chat platforms.

Skype
Representational picture

For the new feature, Skype has partnered with Indian studios Yash Raj Films and ErosNow, the on-demand entertainment platform of Eros International, to develop custom Mojis for Skype users.

"We identified that these clips might be heavy on data usage for users and hence we have cached them on the app itself reducing the need for the user to download them everytime while sending them over the platform," Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president, Skype told IANS when asked about the success of the new feature keeping in mind the high data tarrifs in the country.

"There are about 100 Mojis now and we will keep adding them on the app. We are also thinking about including several features which may allows users in the future to send custom Mojis via the instant chat," Pall said.

The company also emphasised the importance of India as a market.

"Our goal is to provide the best possible messaging experience on Skype, and tapping into India's extremely active and vibrant film culture is a perfect way to do that," Pall said alluding that Skype has 300 million subscribers globally.

"The app has seen at least 500 million downloads from the Google Play Store," Pall added.

Currently, India is home to a lot of chat or instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, hike messenger and Viber who have a user base of 900 million, 70 million and over 40 million.

The new Bollywood Mojis and emoticons will be available in the features tab of the emoticon picker on Skype for Windows desktop, Mac, iOS, Android and Skype for Web.

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