Skype has just purchased GroupMe, an app designed for mobile messaging, according to Engadget. Skype currently supports mobile messaging both in its mobile and desktop version, but it lacks a number of capabilities.
Today, the leading platform in mobile messaging is RIM’s Blackberry Messenger, with the Apple iMessage competing with the BBM in the near future. The problem with the BBM and iMessage is that users can only chat with friends on the same platform. Meaning, BBM users can only chat with people with Blackberry handsets and iMessage users can only chat with people with iOS devices. Now, Skype is planning to enter the mobile messaging arena. This is where Skype is different. It doesn’t matter if you and your fiends are on different platforms.
Since Skype has launched its own mobile app, why would it need to purchase GroupMe? Skype for mobile allows users to chat and hold voice calls, but it eats up a lot of data. GroupMe is the solution to this problem. It is not data-intensive. Furthermore, it can make use of SMS if ever your data connection if poor.
Aside from not requiring too much data, it is also available across platforms. It is available on the Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone platform. If you’ve noticed Symbian is missing from the list. However, it isn’t such a big loss, since Symbian is pretty much dead anyway.
For now, Skype and GroupMe will remain separate, but expect a merge in the future. This will make Skype a worthy contender of RIM’s BBM.