GitLab has announced it is acquiring Gitter, the communication platform for developer communities and teams on GitHub. Gitter is a chat and networking platform designed to bring developers together to collaborate and grow.

“Community is core to GitLab’s principles. Our mission is to ensure that everyone can contribute, and over a thousand developers have contributed to GitLab CE. This acquisition is part of the our strategic plan to become the most popular SaaS solution for public repositories,” Sid Sijbrandij, co-founder and CEO of GitLab, wrote in a post. “While we are still years away from reaching this goal, we recognize great project chat is an essential element of most open-source projects. Gitter is the leading solution and we expect it to grow even larger in the coming years. When the opportunity came to combine forces, we decided to do it.”

Gitter will continue to work as a standalone solution as well as support GitHub, Twitter and other existing integrations. As part of the acquisition, Gitter will expand its integration for GitLab and provide better login, and community creation from

In addition, the company announced it will be open-sourcing its entire platform for developers to contribute to and improve the product as well as making all of its conversations free and unlimited.

“GitLab was one of the first third-party integrations in Gitter, and we’ve been tracking their progress with interest and admiration ever since. GitLab has successfully combined their stewardship of a thriving open-source community with a solid open core business model,” Andrew Newdigate, cofounder and CTO of Gitter, wrote in a post. “GitLab brings a huge amount of experience in maintaining and fostering open source communities, so when the opportunity came along to unite forces with GitLab and open Gitter up, we jumped at it with enthusiasm.”

Going forward, GitLab will focus on adding Gitter login with GitLab, GitLab Gitter communities, and finishing up Gitter’s beta version of the Topics feature.