Skype-owned chat app GroupMe has just launched a preview of its redesigned web app you can use to chat with friends and create groups outside the company's phone interface. The app has a much more streamlined interface than its predecessor, ditching avatars in the chat window in favor of bolded group member names. In effect, the chat window resembles the one you might find on IRC, or in an old-school online chat room. Commonly used chat groups now inhabit the blue bar at the top of the screen for easy access.

Additionally, timestamps are no longer present on each message, but instead pop up every few messages, just like how iOS does timestamps. WIth it's new look and minimalist design, GroupMe looks to be making a move to compete with both iMessage and Mountain Lion's new Messages app, which create the same texting (and group messaging) conversation on mobile and on desktop.

The preview web app doesn't include every feature GroupMe is known for, like Featured Groups, Contacts, and News sections, but we'd expect them to arrive soon. While GroupMe is still first and foremost about communicating between mobile devices, the new web app seems to indicate that the company sees chatting moving towards ubiquity on all devices.