Microsoft acquires 'living photo' app maker Swing's people, technology

Microsoft is getting the technology and people from Swing Technologies, a photo app startup, and is merging them into the Skype team.

Microsoft has struck a deal with Swing Technologies, a startup that makes a "living photo" app called SWNG, via which it will get Swing's people and technology.


Update: Though the wording of the Swing press release led me to believe this was an acquisition of the startup by Microsoft, as I wrote initially. However, this isn't actually the case, so I've updated this post to reflect that. While the Swing employees and their tech are going to Microsoft, Microsoft didn't buy the company outright. A Microsoft representative said Microsoft would not comment on the specifics of the deal beyond what is stated in Swing's press release.

The deal was announced on November 6 by San Francisco, Calif.-based Swing. (I don't think Microsoft actually announced this at all.) Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to the Swing press release, the Swing team will be joining the Skype team to contribute "imaging technology and customer experiences" in Skype messaging and calling.

Swing was founded in 2014 and cites its mission as to "reimagine the photograph." SWNG has been a top featured product in the Apple App Store and Apple retail stores.

"Swing Technologies has developed a range of imaging technology across software and hardware, with senior employees recruited from Apple, Instagram and beyond. Swing is backed by top tier investors and individuals including Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone," the company's press release notes.

Various teams at Microsoft have been working to improve users' photo/video experiences. As to why the Swing team is joining Skype rather than Windows, I have to say I have no idea. The company has been working on a number of photo apps, including Pix for iPhone, as well as a Windows 10 makeover of its Photos/Video experience with Story Remix.

Update: Ah, right. As several readers reminded me, Microsoft is trying to turn Skype consumer into a Snapchat competitor. I guess that sort of explains why this acquisition is going to be merged into the Skype consumer team.

(Thanks to @Len__Alfred for the heads up on the Swing acquisition.)


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