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Twitter acquires ad-free reading service Scroll for upcoming subscriptions on the platform

Scroll allows users to read articles without the ads, pop-ups, and other clutter giving readers clean access to just the content. Twitter will onboard the entire Scroll team of 13 people.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | May 5, 2021 | Updated 16:52 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Twitter has acquired ad-free reading service Scroll for upcoming paid subscriptions on the platform.
  • The company says publishers who work with Scroll earn more money than they would by selling advertising.
  • Twitter introduced the Super Follow feature earlier this year which provides access to exclusive deals, content to creators for a monthly sum.

Twitter has acquired ad-free reading service Scroll as the micro-blogging site looks to "build and shape a future subscription service on Twitter." Scroll allows users to read articles without the ads, pop-ups, and other clutter giving readers clean access to just the content. Twitter notes that publishers who work with Scroll can bring in more revenue than they would from traditional ads on a page.

Scroll allows users to subscribe and read news articles from publishers including Insider, The Verge, BuzzFeed and USA Today without ads. The company says publishers who work with Scroll earn more money than they would by selling advertising. Twitter will onboard the entire Scroll team of 13 people, TechCrunch reported. The deal terms were, however, not disclosed.

"Twitter exists to serve the public conversation. Journalism is the mitochondria of that conversation. It initiates, energizes and informs. It converts and confounds perspectives. At its best it helps us stand in one another's shoes and understand each other's common humanity," said Tony Haile, Scroll CEO, in the company's post about Scroll's acquisition.

"The mission we've been given by Jack and the Twitter team is simple: take the model and platform that Scroll has built and scale it so that everyone who uses Twitter has the opportunity to experience an internet without friction and frustration, a great gathering of people who love the news and pay to sustainably support it," he added.

Meanwhile, Scroll will temporarily pause new sign-ups and following the acquisition, Twitter will work to include Scroll into their subscription plans and prepare to grow Scroll's publisher network.

Twitter has been working to offer new types of content on its social media site, including audio and long-form content, after previously acquiring newsletter platform Revue. The deal will help Twitter build a subscription feature, such as letting users access premium features from news outlets or a writer's Revue newsletter, Twitter said.

Twitter introduced the Super Follow feature earlier this year. The Super Follow feature will provide access to exclusive deals, content to creators for a monthly sum. Apart from this, Twitter is testing a new called Safety Mode and more. Earlier this year, Twitter acquired podcast app Breaker that paved the way for Twitter's new audio-based networking project, Twitter Spaces, live audio conversations on Twitter.

Formerly available to iOS users, now Twitter has extended the ability to host a Space to all accounts with 600 or more followers on Twitter. Twitter noted that these accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting live conversations because of their existing audience.

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