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Skype to acquire group messaging service GroupMe

by Emma Dunn

The internet communication giant Skype has announced plans to acquire group messaging service GroupMe.

Skype has been talking to GroupMe for a few months, but the deal is expected to close today. Further terms of the deal, including price, have been kept under wraps.

GroupMe is still quite a young group messaging service but, despite being barely a year old, it has enjoyed its fair share of success.

Its service allows users to create private phone groups with others, share text messages throughout the group and set up free conference calls. It’s hoped that the acquisition will enhance Skype’s ability to send text and photo messages within groups.

Group messaging has certainly been the functionality ‘du jour’ over the past twelve months or so, as a lot of big tech brands have turned to integrating group messaging services. Last August, Google purchased group messaging service Slide, and Facebook were able to add group chat functionality to their site after taking on group messaging app Beluga. However, Skype is the latest name to enter the fray.

Skype CEO Tony Bates revealed to TechCrunch that he sees the group messaging service as an integral part of their plan for world domination: “The group messaging space in general is one of the most important markets for Skype… GroupMe creates a very sticky instant feeling. Like Skype, it is an everyday interactive form of communication. Skype’s goal is to get to 1 billion users. Mobile is the place to do that.”

GroupMe was founded by Jered Hect and Steve Martocci in 2010. They have 20 employees based in New York, and are expected to remain there for the foreseeable future.

Do you think this latest partnership will add anything of value to Skype’s functionality? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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