Following hot on the heels of the JIRA 5 release, Atlassian has just announced its acquisition ofHipChat, a San Francisco-based private chat service for the enterprise with serious collaboration capabilities.

The price Atlassian paid for HipChat, or even why it felt the need to boost its product portfolio with the acquisition has not been fully explained. However, CEO and co-founder Peter Curley did say that Atlassian provides the perfect environment to scale the HipChat business.

Atlassian + HipChat = Free Beer

Curley also mentions that the business model will fit well into Atlassian’s business culture:

Atlassian provides the perfect environment to scale the HipChat business….The no-friction business model, the customer base, the culture, the free beer -- all things that are perfectly aligned with where we want to take the business…”

Sounds interesting, and not just for the free beer. Atlassian says it will incorporate HipChat into its portfolio, thus providing Atlassian with a group chat platform that enables collaboration in real time.

It also seems that Atlassian has been trying the product out for itself over the past nine months and says that nearly half of its employees are already using it themselves.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, one of the Atlassian co-founders, writes in a blog post that HipChat has taken off virally within Atlassian’s teams and everyone -- well, at least half of the team -- is collaborating away on a daily basis with it.

HipChat And What It Does

And if you’re not familiar with it, here’s what it does: it’s basically an instant messaging built for business with no ads, obscure screen names or failed file transfers.

Learning Opportunities

Instead, chat rooms users will be able to share information through chats, images and automatic updates from integrated products like JIRA or Confluence.

It supports all the modern social conventions, such as @mentions to help direct specific messages to specific people quickly and easily.

HipChat works from any browser, from desktop apps for Windows or Macs, as well as through mobile phones through native iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

HipChat’s three co-founders -- Pete Curley, Garret Heaton and Chris Rivers -- will join Atlassian to continue to grow and develop the HipChat product and business. It is available for a free 30-day trial or can be purchased for $2/month per user. If you're interested in more, check out the video below.