Skype Acquires Mobile Group Messaging Service

Sunday Skype announced that it is acquiring mobile group messaging service provider GroupMe. According to Skype, the latter company has created an "incredibly sticky" group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making it a perfect addition to the Skype client's library of features.

"This acquisition is another step towards our vision to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience," Skype said in a blog. "It complements our existing leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class mobile text-based communications and innovative features around group messaging that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties."

"This latest acquisition, coupled with our acquisition of Qik earlier this year, augments our role as an innovator in driving unique mobile user experiences," the company added.

The news arrives months after Microsoft Corp purchased Skype Global for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Ballmer in May. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."

Microsoft said that Skype will support devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and "a wide array of Windows devices." In turn, Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities, and will also continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.

As for the latest acquisition, GroupMe was founded in 2010 at the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon and is headquartered in New York, New York. The company informed its users on Saturday by way of a company blog, thanking everyone who used the service over the past year for making it such an immediate success.

"This has been a remarkable year for GroupMe, and we believe that this is a big win. And not just a big win for GroupMe and our amazing investors, but also for New York City," the blog reads. "As part of the deal, GroupMe will remain in New York, team intact, working on our standalone application. The major difference will be that we will now have access to Skype’s 175 million monthly connected users. 175 million people. That’s a very big deal."

Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed, Skype said.

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  • JamesSneed
    Should this not read Microsoft bought MobileMe since MS bought Skype a while ago? I know it says in the article but how oddly misleading since Skype doesn't exist anymore, not as a company just as a division of Microsoft.
  • borisof007
    I almost read this as "Skype acquired Groupie"
  • RabidFace

    My thoughts exactly. As I was reading this, I was replacing Skype with Microsoft where it applied.

    But my other thought, I believe Microsoft is a little late to the party. I know they are trying really hard to take some of the market away from Facebook, or for people that haven't gotten in too deep with one social network already. Google Plus has shown already that you can even get hardcore Facebook users to "switch".

    It's going to be interesting to see how all "social networking" plays out in the next couple of years. Most people don't want to have to go to multiple places to connect with people, or keep switching places, so they choose one.

    I do think there is some value in social networking, but I personally have never been huge in it. I have had a MySpace, use Facebook only here and there, but my main social network device is my is my phone :) even if it's still a dumb phone. I don't have to be tethered to a computer to talk to my friends or family and can leave a voicemail directly in their pocket :)