Skype, the leading Internet telephony service provider, is in the final stages of acquiring GroupMe, a group messaging service. GroupMe applications enables text messaging and conference calls among designated circles of friends or colleagues across a range of operating systems (including smartphone apps for Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows operating systems. This marks Skype's second major move into social messaging - the first, Qik, gave Skype access to video capture and sharing applications.
The acquisition helps Skype to expand it's offerings from traditional point-to-point audio and video communication in real time, to the potential of adding text and messaging, facilitating group and social media distributions, and adding archiving and asynchronous sharing features. This helps Skype, and Microsoft (which has agreed to by Skype), better match up with announced real-time and social messaging initiatives from Apple, Google, and Facebook.
The move to shift to social media for messaging has some interesting implications, bringing to fruition the long-identified potential for digital and IP networks to develop new patterns of communication (beyond one-to-one and mass models). It could foreshadow a major shift in how people communicate.
Source - Skype pushes into social messaging with GroupMe acquisition FierceMobileContent