As the video and instant chat group Skype announced today, GroupMe has been acquired by big blue, this the latest in a long long of acquisitions and partnerships that have been unfolding over the past few months in the group chat world. Most notably Facebook has tied up with Skype for video chat on Facebook and Microsoft has acquired Skype, this agreement getting FTC approval just this June – this possibly leading to Skype on Windows Phone 7 soon having been on Android for several months with video calling, hitting the iPad and iPad 2 earlier this month.
Now Skype has acquired GroupMe, an odd move for a group that already has similar capabilities in several of their application iterations. On the other hand, GroupMe’s most recent update has brought in-browser chat capabilities (within a week of Facebook adding messenger to mobile, mind you,) GroupMe and Facebook Messenger thusly having very similar services working much in the same way.
As Jared Hecht, GroupMe’s Co-Founder notes that “There is a natural affinity between Skype and GroupMe” and that they’d be “integrating GroupMe into the Skype experience” would be their next move. How both groups will manage integrating their collective users into one pot, we do not yet know – why on earth GroupMe decided to do a major update of their user interface and ecosystem capabilities we are also baffled about – perhaps they’ll just add a Skype button next? We’ll see!