Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, a video discussion platform used by more than 20 million teachers and students around the world. Flipgrid is a platform that allows students to discuss and reply to topics with video clips at home or in the classroom. Flipgrid is similar to the popular process of creating a YouTube reaction video to a particular subject or news, and the platform is used by students and teachers in 180 countries to build skills in the digital era of creating and sharing video content.
Microsoft will now be making Flipgrid free for schools, and any customers who already paid for a subscription will now receive a prorated refund. “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,” says Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president at 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.”
Microsoft’s Flipgrid acquisition is the latest in an effort to appeal to students and teachers. Microsoft has been improving its Office 365 for Education offerings, and Flipgrid already supports Microsoft Teams. Microsoft is also overhauling its web versions of Office to be more modern and faster to use for collaboration. Microsoft has faced increased competition in the classroom from both Apple and Google in recent years. Google’s Chromebooks are dominating the education environment in US schools, and Microsoft has been hitting back with $189 Windows 10 laptops for schools and Windows 10 S.
Hardware is only one part of winning over students and teachers, though. Microsoft has also been improving its OneNote app with new features designed for students, and creating more content updates for its Minecraft: Education Edition. Even Windows Mixed Reality headsets are now getting six new apps with immersive experiences for students, alongside content partnerships with LEGO and BBC Worldwide.
Microsoft is now planning to help grow the Flipgrid community, and the platform will retain its brand and team at the software maker. “Flipgrid has always been about the educator community. They are the source of our innovation and impact,” says 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.”