Microsoft buys photo app startup Swing to bring imaging tech to Skype

Updated November 7, 2017: Per ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, the acquisition is for Swing's team and technology, not the company itself. The article has been updated to clarify.

Microsoft has acquired the technology and team behind Swing, a photo app startup whose app, SWNG, focused on creating "living photos."

Swing revealed the acquisition (via ZDNet) on November 6, noting that the Swing team will be merged with the Skype team. There, the Swing team will employ its expertise in "imaging technology and customer experiences to deliver on key innovations for Skype messaging and calling experiences," Swing says.

Prior to the acquisition, Swing developed the SWNG app for iOS devices, which allows users to create moving photos. Essentially, the app would create one-second clips that offer a little extra flair over standard photos. If that sounds familiar, it's because the same sort of concept appeared as living images on Lumia devices. Photos would appear static at first, but could be extended with a second or so of video. Apple now implements the same sort of concept on iPhones with their Live Photos feature.

According to its press release, Swing counts former Apple and Instagram employees among its ranks, and an early investor was Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. It's not clear what we can expect from the Swing team in Skype, but Microsoft clearly has something in mind. "The Swing team's deep expertise in imaging technology will help us deliver great new features and capabilities for Skype," said Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Skype, Amritansh Raghav.

The terms of the deal were not revealed.