Skype, the online video and internet calling platform, acquired GroupMe in an initiative to provide group messaging services on smartphones.

The New York-based startup allows users to make conference calls and text with their circle of friends and family. By Skype partnering with the service, the two will be better placed to compete with Apple, Google and Facebook’s planned roll out of smartphone messaging services that include group messaging.

“Skype and GroupMe have a shared vision of creating applications and experiences that are the daily communications choice for a billion people. We will continue to seek the top talent and technology to make that vision a reality,” said Tony Bates, Skype’s CEO, in a statement Sunday. “The GroupMe team has created an incredibly sticky group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making this a perfect addition to the voice, video and text products in the Skype family.”

Related Links: (Skype Press Release)

Photo by flickr user Jon Ovington, used under Creative Commons license