Skype will acquire group messaging service GroupMe, a service that was born at a hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York in 2010. GroupMe was founded by Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci.

The terms of the deal, including price, aren’t being disclosed.

GroupMe allows you to create on the fly private phone groups with others, and then send text messages throughout the group and set up free conference calls.

They’ll keep GroupMe as a standalone brand, Bates says, and look for integration points over time. “The group messaging space in general is one of the most important markets for Skype,” he told me via a Skype video call earlier today. He added: “GroupMe creates a very sticky instant feeling. Like Skype, it is an everyday interactive form of communication. Skype’s goal is to get to 1 billion users. Mobile is the place to do that.”

Microsoft buys Skype. Microsoft also has shares in Facebook. Skype enters in partnership with Facebook. Facebook bought Beluga. Skype buys GroupMe. Whereas Beluga and GroupMe were former competitors…there’s so much overlap..where is the Microsoft’s Ecosystem heading to?

Big ups though to the GroupMe guys and Twilio. Nice One ….