Twitter acquires email newsletter service Revue
Twitter acquires Revue, a messaging service that lets writers post newsletters. The move allows Twitter to capitalize on its user base of writers, journalists and publications who regularly use the service to reach readers and grow their audience.
“With a strong community of writers and readers, Twitter is uniquely positioned to help organizations and writers grow their readership faster and on a much larger scale than anywhere else,” explains Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter Product Manager. “Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their followers, while helping readers better discover authors and their content.”
Twitter’s acquisition of Revue also puts it in direct competition with Substack, a rival email newsletter service that has recently gained popularity. A number of high-profile journalists have left traditional media companies to launch paid newsletters on Substack.
Substack launched a reading feature for newsletters in December and has pledged to take a fairly relaxed approach to moderating content on its service. Edge editor Nilay Patel interviewed Chris Best, co-founder and CEO of Substack, last month if you want to learn more about what could be a new model for journalism.
The New York Times reports that Twitter was even discussing the acquisition of Substack in November, but co-founder Hamish McKenzie made it clear the case was not going to happen. Twitter is now making Revue Pro features free for all accounts and reducing the discount for paid newsletters to just 5%. This is clearly an attempt to attract more writers to Revue, and it cuts Substack’s 10% fee.
Revue was founded in 2015 in the Netherlands, and the New York Times indicates that it has six employees. It’s a small operation that counts Chicago Sun-Times and Edge the publisher Vox Media as users of the service. (The edge used to post The interface via Revue, before its author, Casey Newton, launched his own Substack newsletter.)
Twitter says it plans to continue operating Revue as a standalone service. “We will continue to invest in Revue as a standalone service, and its team will remain focused on improving the way editors create their newsletters, grow their audience, and get paid for their work,” says Beykpour. “Over time, this team will create more long-form content-centric discovery, reading, and conversation experiences on Twitter.”