Skype Buying GroupMe Messaging Service

GroupMe, the messaging service employed by Gizmodo during our harrowing CES 2011 coverage, is being acquired by Skype for an undisclosed amount of money.

The year-old messaging service allows users to create on-demand private phone calls/messaging groups with others, which includes texts and free conference calls.

Reporting over at TechCrunch reveals talks were underway while Skype was being wooed by Microsoft (and that deal is still being worked on).

GroupMe's 20 New York City-based employees will remain there are a standalone company, with potential consolidation opportunities down the line, said Skype CEO Tony Bates in remarks at TechCrunch. Bates was bullish on the pickup, telling TechCrunch that GroupMe's "sticky" nature would help Skype acquire one billion users. [TechCrunch]