Skype version 8.59 adds custom backgrounds for video calls, but not on the Store version

Microsoft has released a new version of Skype, bringing it to version 8.59, and it might be one of the more meaningful updates in a while. According to the changelog, it's now possible to replace your video background in calls with a custom image. This expands on the ability to blur your background, and it lines up with the same feature launching on Microsoft Teams a couple of weeks ago.

One thing that's worth noting is that this new feature doesn't work in Skype for Windows 10, which comes preloaded on Windows 10 PCs and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. This is interesting because Microsoft recently started replacing the React Native app on the Microsoft Store with the Electron-based app, which is the one classic desktop users get. It's possible that this change remains exclusive to Skype Insiders for now.

Aside from that, the new version of Skype makes it possible to share files directly from the Finder app on macOS, similar to what was made possible for Linux and Windows users with version 8.58. This version also adds easier access to call controls from the chat menu. Something else that's worth noting is that the Skype Insider release notes for version 8.59 mentioned the ability to delete multiple contacts at once, but that feature isn't mentioned in this changelog. Even Insider builds don't seem to have the feature, based on our testing.

If you're interested in trying it out, you can download Skype from its website to get the latest features.

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