Yesterday’s announcement about Twitter buying Revue, a service for publishing editorial newsletters, is the latest in a series of acquisitions in the newsletter business. It also offers a glimpse into the tech giant’s ambitious user strategy.
Twitter has been shopping around in recent months. At the end of 2020, the company purchased social video company Squad (for friends to hang out via video chat and screen-sharing). Next came the acquisition of Breaker, which allows to create audio content on Twitter.
In a post explaining their thinking, Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour and VP of publisher products Mike Park noted that “[m]any established writers and publishers have built their brand on Twitter, amassing an audience that’s hungry for the next article or perspective they Tweet. Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their subscribers, while also helping readers better discover writers and their content.”
“We’re imagining a lot of ways to do this, from allowing people to sign up for newsletters from their favorite follows on Twitter, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers. It will all work seamlessly within Twitter,” the duo continued.
Newsletters skyrocketed last year, notably with the rise of Substack as a user-friendly and easy-to-monetize solution to build paying subscribers. With the acquisition of Revue, Twitter becomes a direct competitor to other market players aiming to woo independent writers.
2021 looks to be even more intense – with a flurry of big headlines coming in just 3 weeks. MailChimp acquired Chatitive, a B2B messaging start-up. Forbes announced it would launch its own platform, splitting journalists’ revenues. Upland Software bought Second Street, which would enable Upland’s customers to create email campaigns.
“There is a massive push to create tools to help creators and companies get more out of email. For the consumer, this competition is a good thing! In the long run, you’re going to get better features and better tools to build the career/business you want” Dan Oshinsky, the head of Inbox Collective, an email consultancy, tweeted in response to the news.