Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mobile: GroupMe Bought by Skype, Is This Another Mobile Arms Race

Is this the start of another mobile arms race? CNet reports that Skype bought mobile messaging service GroupMe for an undisclosed amount. And by default, it is Microsoft that bought GroupMe since Microsoft bought Skype earlier in the year for $8.5 billion.

Is this possible we are at the start of another arms race and this time the weapon of choice is SMS like messaging services that will eventually spell the doom of the era of mobile providers gauging its users for texting plans that require little to no bandwidth.

I have to say messaging would not be my choice of service if I want to arm my company's mobile services. Honestly, I think location-based services like check-in companies Foursquare or Gowalla offers more opportunities for commercialization than group messaging.

Facebook already made their move with Beluga. Apple already has iMessage that will be forthcoming with its next iOS update. Google has, well, a bunch of homegrown services at its disposal. Gtalk and elements of Google+ like Huddle comes to mind. So I find it difficult any of the major mobile platforms would be interested in snatching up their own messaging company.

It's possible some carriers might be interested in their own messaging services to prepare for the demise of texting.

We'll see over the next two weeks where this goes and why Skype and Microsoft wants GroupMe. Skype already has an IM feature as does Microsoft.

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