Microsoft has acquired the technology and the team behind photo editing app Swng (earlier know as Polaroid Swing) to ramp up its efforts in the consumer side of things. Imaging apps are among the hottest things on the social web right now, and Swng allows users to create GIF-like short videos out of live photos. These are known as ‘cinemagraphs’, and can be tweaked by moving your fingers across the screen. The San Francisco-based startup would be joining Microsoft s Skype division, it announced. Also Read - Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for you provided you fall in this categoryAlso Read - Nintendo Direct E3 2021: Metroid Dread, Mario Party Superstars, a new Legend of Zelda and more
Swng essentially offers a visual medium that is between a photo and a video. While Skype is a video and voice calling app, it could well be transitioning into a more wholesome, social product if the Swng acquisition is anything to go by. Skype has already integrated Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana, and offers Snapchat-like photo filters. With Swng, it could allow users to take 3D selfies by rotating their phone around them. Swng also enables users to save their short cinemagraphs in the phone’s camera roll, and post them later on Facebook or Twitter by linking both accounts. ALSO READ: Microsoft Skype for desktop gets a new design, themes and more Also Read - Windows 11 leaked online: Centralised start menu, revamped UI, new widgets, here's what to expect
“The Swing team s deep expertise in imaging technology will help us deliver great new features and capabilities for Skype,” Microsoft s Corporate Vice President for Skype, Amritansh Raghav stated. “They have an impressive track record of delivering great user experiences and brand design around the technology they develop,” he added. The terms of the acqui-hire aren’t known yet, but Swing Technologies (creator of the Swng app) is a small firm with about 10 employees, some of whom are former engineers and designers from Apple and Instagram. ALSO READ: Microsoft Skype s new major redesign takes inspiration from Facebook Messenger, Snapchat
Interestingly, Swng had attracted the attention of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone in 2016. Stone was so chuffed about bringing the Polaroid back in photo apps that he himself traveled to Minnesota to seek permission from the firm to use its IP. Swng counts Stone as a key investor and early backer. “Polaroid Swing [as it was called then] has the potential to change the way we think about images, just like Twitter s 140 characters changed how we think about words. People will start seeing the world in one-second moments. It s a genre-defining medium,” Stone had said at the time.