Monday, 22 August 2011

Skype to Buy GroupMe Group Messaging Service

The group messaging battle just heated up with the announcement Sunday that Skype has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GroupMe, a group messaging service that will enhance Skype’s ability to facilitate text and photo messaging.

With this acquisition, Skype said in a press release that GroupMe will provide “best-in-class text-based communications and innovative features that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties.”

Given the hyper-competitive backdrop of this booming group messaging field, it’s no surprise that Skype’s CEO Tony Bates told The Wall Street Journal about how important he thinks the mobile group messaging space is to his company. That’s evidenced by the multiple deals in that space taking in the past year, including Google’s purchase of group messaging company Slide in August of last year, Facebook’s rollout of its Group Chat capabilities after it acquired group messaging app Beluga in March of this year, and Apple’s June announcement of iMessage in iOS 5 that’s also capable of group messaging.

Even though Skype agreed in May to sell itself to Microsoft for $8.5 billion, that transaction has not been completed yet. Skype’s CEO didn’t specify the terms of the agreement between Skype and GroupMe, which is expected to close on Monday.

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