Why it matters: Google dominates the education market with its low-cost Chromebooks and collaborative tools. Microsoft needs every edge it can to convince schools that its a better education platform. The Flipgrid acquisition attempts to capitalize on the growing influence of video in the education market.
In our always connected world, social media has made a huge impact on education. Video content in particular has shaped how we consume content and has arguably made it easier to learn various subjects at much lower costs. Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, a video platform that allows students to make reaction type videos in response to a discussion topic. The platform is heavily used in the education market in around 180 countries and Microsoft hopes to use this to leverage ground that's increasingly being dominated by Google.
“We’re thrilled to see the impact Flipgrid has had in social learning thus far and look forward to helping them continue to thrive as part of the Microsoft family,” said Eran Megiddo, CVP for Microsoft. “We’re diligently committed to making sure their platform and products continue to work across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems to benefit students and teachers everywhere.”
Due to the dominance of Google Chromebooks in the education market, Microsoft has been trying to significantly improve its education offerings. The company has streamlined the web version of its Office products to compete more with Google in terms of collaboration. In fact, Flipgrid already works with Microsoft Teams. On the hardware front, Microsoft is countering Chromebooks with low-cost Windows 10 S laptops.
As far as the Flipgrid acquisition, Microsoft says that Flipgrid will "retain its distinct brand, culture and team". Microsoft wants to also use Flipgrid to help students build "social emotional skills" in order to develop better communication and learn how to come back from failure.
“Flipgrid has always been about the educator community. They are the source of our innovation and impact,” said Jim Leslie, Flipgrid CEO. “Now as a part of Microsoft, we have the opportunity to scale so we can support every educator across the globe as they empower student voice.”