Microsoft acquires social learning platform Flipgrid

Credit Flipgrid

Microsoft announced today that it has acquired Flipgrid, an education start-up that it had previously partnered with.

The number of users of the platform is now 20 million educators, their students and families in 180 countries.

Flipgrid was created back in 2015 as video discussion platform for students, family and educators, and it now has iOS and Android mobile apps, integrations with OneNote, Microsoft Teams and many other platforms. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

According to Microsoft: "In joining Microsoft, Flipgrid will retain its distinct brand, culture, and team focused on amplifying the voices of all students".

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Microsoft is also making the Flipgrid service free for all educators and students, and also offering prorated refunds to users who has purchased a subscription from Flipgrid in the previous year. Those subscriptions ranged in price from $65 per year for an individual educator to $1,000 per year for a school.

One potential rub is that Flipgrid works well with the Chromebooks and Google services that now dominate the education market in the US and elsewhere. Microsoft also makes Office 365 Education freely available to schools. The latest numbers from market research firm Futuresource for Q1 2018 gives Windows OS a leading 44 percent share of mobile computing devices shipping to K-12 schools globally, but Google's Chrome OS has a dominant 56 percent share of new shipments to USA schools in the first quarter.

Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president of education at Microsoft, said in an interview that Flipgrid will continue to be integrated equally well with Microsoft hardware as with competitors such as Chromebooks and iPads.

A video-discussion platform originally started by a University of Minnesota professor to keep in touch with students for a course he was teaching has been purchased by tech giant Microsoft. Every one of us will continue to support, amplify, and champion the fantastic Flipgrid educator community. While a Microsoft spokesperson told GeekWire the acquisition isn't a key part of Microsoft's ISTE presence, Flipgrid will present and demo the platform at the Microsoft booth.

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