Twitter acquired the newsletter publishing company Revue for an undisclosed sum, part of an effort to expand its business and give writers who distribute their work on Twitter more features.
Revue's service, which lets people manage newsletter publishing and subscriptions, will continue operating as a “standalone service” within Twitter, the company said Tuesday in a blog announcing the deal. Twitter will eliminate some of the service's fees to encourage more people to create newsletters, and will take a 5 percent cut on subscription revenue collected through Revue.
Part of Revue's appeal to Twitter is that it could help expand the business outside of advertising, which generates more than 85 percent of Twitter's annual revenue, and give some of the site's more popular users a way to make money from their followers.
“You can expect audience-based monetisation to be an area that we'll continue to develop new ways to support,” Twitter executives wrote in the blog. Twitter has also confirmed that it's considering options for its own subscription service.
Email newsletters, an early form of web publishing, have made a comeback in recent years. The format has been embraced by traditional media companies as well as startups. The buzziest is called Substack, which offers a platform for independent writers to send newsletters to free or paying subscribers. Among the most notable writers are former editors for the New Republic, Andrew Sullivan, and for Rolling Stone, Matthew Taibbi.
Revue's six-person team, which is based in Utrecht, Netherlands, will join Twitter, which said it will hire to expand the unit.
Twitter has made a number of acquisitions in recent months, primarily small startups to bring on their personnel. Since early December, Twitter has purchased social video app Squad, podcast company Breaker, and a 50-person design firm Ueno.
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