Microsoft acquires team and tech behind photo app startup Swing

Updated November 7, 2017: Per ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, the acquisition is for Swing's team and technology, not the company itself. The article has been updated to clarify.

Swing revealed the acquisition (via ZDNet) on November 6, noting that the Swing team will be merged with the Skype team. There, the Swing team will employ its expertise in "imaging technology and customer experiences to deliver on key innovations for Skype messaging and calling experiences," Swing says.

Prior to the acquisition, Swing developed the SWNG app (opens in new tab) for iOS devices, which allows users to create moving photos. Essentially, the app would create one-second clips that offer a little extra flair over standard photos. If that sounds familiar, it's because the same sort of concept appeared as living images on Lumia devices. Photos would appear static at first, but could be extended with a second or so of video. Apple now implements the same sort of concept on iPhones with their Live Photos feature.

According to its press release, Swing counts former Apple and Instagram employees among its ranks, and an early investor was Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. It's not clear what we can expect from the Swing team in Skype, but Microsoft clearly has something in mind. "The Swing team's deep expertise in imaging technology will help us deliver great new features and capabilities for Skype," said Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Skype, Amritansh Raghav.

The terms of the deal were not revealed.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • In all honesty, cool aquistion. But this is not what's currently broken with Skype. I've used it in ALL platforms. It remains, to this very moment, the worst of them all (and stay with me here) for MESSAGING! Out of Hangouts, Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and many others I've tried. Skype is the worst one I WANT to love.  It has the most lag, sending messages, takes the longest  to sync chats, many on screen app redraws, respring or reloading upon coming back into the chat from many shortcuts or replies, and the worst notification realibility. Why this is I have absolutely no idea. They were once number one. Like I said. I actually want to love it. I like the new features that's been added despite the community feedback. I enjoy the themes. I simply want it to do what it should do the best and most often. Be a reliable messenger service. 
  • Same here. To be honest, Skype isn't (and never been) better even than the Windows Live Messenger it replaced when considering anything but video messages. WLM was way better than Skype when texting, it was way lighter too. I still don't understand why MS paid so much for Skype when WLM was doing so well at its time. But we are talking about MS, so it's normal that nothing makes any sense...
  • Totally agree. I love Skype, but it could be so much better. Love being able to use a web client without the need to be linked to a phone (like WhatsApp) love the limitless file transfer (well I've certainly not found a limit) and it looks great too, imo. However it's so unreliable and notifications on iOS haven't worked properly for months (I've contacted them several times about this) Get your act together and be the app I know you can be :D
  • ...another one to be killed off.
  • sad but true
  • Skype??? SMH. I hope they focus on reliability first and giving us the old presence controls back.