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Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype will now come with a little extra somethin’ somethin’ as the VoIP company announced their own acquisition of a year-old provider of mobile group messaging services, adding to the company’s existing portfolio of voice, video and text chat.
Skype announced the acquisition of GroupMe, the mobile group messaging service founded only a year ago at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. The move comes shortly after the VoIP giant gobbled up Qik earlier this year in an effort to further expand their video offerings.
If you’re not familiar with GroupMe, parent company Mindless Dribble Inc. offers group messaging services through a host of mobile clients including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 or even SMS. The company bills its service as “a private chat room that works on any phone.”
"Skype and GroupMe have a shared vision of creating applications and experiences that are the daily communications choice for a billion people. We will continue to seek the top talent and technology to make that vision a reality," said Tony Bates, Skype's Chief Executive Officer. "The GroupMe team has created an incredibly sticky group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making this a perfect addition to the voice, video and text products in the Skype family," added Bates.
"There is a natural affinity between Skype and GroupMe and our goal is to continue developing tools that make it easier for people to communicate, share, and stay in touch with their close and important ties," said Jared Hecht, GroupMe's Co-Founder. "Integrating GroupMe into the Skype experience is an amazing opportunity for us and accelerates the execution of our vision tenfold," added Steve Martocci, GroupMe's Co-Founder.
Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed and for the moment GroupMe remains a separate app, available for the iPhone, iPad touch or iPad from the App Store; the free app is a 4.1MB download requiring iOS 4.0. The app sadly isn’t native for the iPad at this time.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter