GroupMe is a one-year-old company. Users can send messages or participate in online conferences if they install the program from GroupMe on their smartphone. After this acquisition, Skype wants to compete with Facebook and BlackBerry, companies that are already offering messaging services for the owners of smartphones. In addition, Apple plans to launch a similar service in the fall of 2011, called iMessage and which will appear in the software updates for the iOS.
If Apple and BlackBerry applications can be used only by the users of these phones, there are few services available to all smartphone owners, such as WhatsApp Messenger and Groupme. WhatsApp fell by 8% the volume of SMS messages sent by the mobile telecom users of the largest operator in the Netherlands – KPN. About 85% of them are using smartphones running on Android, writes Financial Times.
The largest social networks have not missed the opportunity. Facebook has announced the launch of a chat application for smartphones, which have became pretty fast the most downloaded program from the Apple store. In addition, Google+ is also including the mobile chat Huddle.
Started in 2010, GroupMe offers its own application on iPhone, Blackberry and also on Android smartphones. The company has also launched in July a version of its application for Windows Phone 7. Skype didn’t say whether GroupMe will be integrated into Skype services or will continue running as a separate company.
For the online telephony giant, the GroupMe acquisition will add the ability to deliver messages for groups. Microsoft has bought Skype, in May, for $ 8.5 billion. Once the merger is complete, Microsoft plans to add Skype in xBox and Kinect devices as well as in their Windows Phone smartphones.