One of the “big things” for major non-carrier players to do this year, it seems, is to have a group messaging product in their consumer tools checkbox. Google started things going with the Google+ Huddle group messaging feature (renamed to Messenger this week). Facebook launched Facebook Messenger soon after. And, now, Skype announced its GroupMe group messaging service.
Skype, which is itself in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, acquired GroupMe a month ago today. GroupMe has free apps for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Phone 7. Feature phone users in the U.S. can use the service using conventional SMS text messaging combined with hashtag text commands.
GroupMe provides the following features:
– Start groups with the people already in your phonebook and chat instantly
– Your friends don’t need the app, or even a smartphone
– Send messages and photos, and even share your location
– Plus, send direct messages to other GroupMe users