Twitter announced Tuesday that it acquired the email newsletter service Revue.
In a blog post, the social media giant said that the action was intended to make the platform better for writers and publishers.
"Twitter is where people go to see and talk about what’s happening in the world. It’s where writers, experts and curators – from individual creators to journalists to publishers themselves – go to share their written work, spark meaningful conversations and build a loyal following," said Mike Park, Twitter's vice president of publisher products, and product lead Kayvon Beykpour wrote in the post.
"These writers and long-form content curators are a valuable part of the conversation and it’s critical we offer new ways for them to create and share their content, and importantly, help them grow and better connect with their audience," the post continued.
To jump-start their efforts, Twitter acquired Revue to "accelerate" its own work and help to inform users while "giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience."
The tech company noted that it is "uniquely positioned" to help organizations and individuals grow their readership and that it is aiming to do so seamlessly from within Twitter using a "durable incentive model" via the paid newsletters.
Twitter also pledged to continue developing audience-based monetization tactics in the future, though they would start out giving free Revue Pro features to all accounts and lower the paid newsletter fee to just 5% off the bat. Revue normally takes a 6% cut, according to Axios.
For example, Twitter will be "expanding" the Revue team — hiring in fields like design, research, engineering and data science.
In a thread on the social media platform, Park wrote that Twitter would develop a private beta to make it easier for organizations and writers that "need greater control," and assured that writers would own their subscriber lists.
"Twitter is where writers and publishers have built loyal audiences," he wrote. "We believe it’s where they can grow their readership to a much larger scale and connect with readers more seamlessly than anywhere else."
"We will continue to invest in Revue as a standalone service, growing the team to improve the ways writers share news and knowledge, build their audience and get paid for their work," Park added.
Revue – a competitor to recently popular SubStack and its users, who would often share their links on Twitter – tweeted about the move on Tuesday.
"The folks over at Twitter are amazing partners who believe in and add to our mission and vision. Thanks to them we can invest more, build faster, and serve you better," Revue said.
Founded in 2015 in the Netherlands, Revue has six employees, according to The New York Times. The paid version of its service lets writers send their newsletters to up to 40,000 readers.
The Times reported Tuesday that over the past couple of months, Twitter has been taking steps to further develop alternative revenue sources and that it had been discussing the purchase of Substack in November -- though founder Hamish McKenzie tweeted: "This is not going to happen."
Nevertheless, Twitter's deal marks a shift into long-form content and a window into the future of the site.
The announcement came just a day after Twitter launched its "Birdwatch" pilot program, a controversial feature that allows users to add anotations to tweets they believe are false in an attempt to "add context" for other users.
In November 2020, the site unveiled "Fleets" – story-sharing akin to what's already available on Instagram and Snapchat stories – and expanded the maximum characters per tweet in 2017. In 2016 Twitter removed photos and links from its character count.
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