Group messaging services now brought to the masses via Skype.
Skype announced yesterday that they will be acquiring the New York based startup GroupMe, a group messaging service that provides cross-platform text and conference calls within private groups. Apart from messaging, one can share pictures and locations, even ask “questions” to specific people or broadcast it over Twitter and Facebook. The application is available on iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 and Android smartphones.
We saw a similar move earlier this year when Facebook acquired Beluga, whose team worked closely to release the recent Facebook Messenger app. Of course, the release of that app also seemed like a reaction to Google+ Huddle service which does pretty much the same thing as FB Messenger and, to some extent, GroupMe. In time all three of these services will add even more features to try and be the dominant app where people go to for communicating. Skype, of course, is still under the process of being merged with Microsoft for $8.5 billion as announced in May this year.
“This acquisition is another step towards our vision to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience,” Skype CEO Tony Bates wrote in his official Skype blog. On their own blog, the team at GroupMe wrote, “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. “