Skype buys GroupMe mobile messaging service

Skype has announced that it has purchased GroupMe, a mobile messaging service that is barely a year old. Skype, which itself is being purchased by Microsoft, claims that GroupMe will compliment Skype’s existing messaging services and help it build a more complete messaging system.

GroupMe offers apps for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7, and it can work with basic SMS services for those without a smartphone. As implied by its name, it allows users to start and participate in group chats, complete with photo sharing, location mapping, and even conference calling. While some of GroupMe’s features overlap with Skype’s existing services, Skype says that GroupMe will complement Skype’s existing voice, video, and text-based messaging services. Skype had previously announced the acquisition of Qik, a mobile video calling service, earlier this year. It seems that Skype will integrate GroupMe, Qik, and its own services into one messaging umbrella.

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