This morning Twitter announced it was acquiring Scroll, a subscription service that provides readers with a better way to read through long-form content on the web by removing ads and other website clutter, slowing down the experience Can. The company will continue to be part of Twitter’s larger plans to invest in subscriptions, the company says, and will later be offered as a premium feature that Twitter will offer to customers.
Premium subscribers will be able to use Scroll to easily read their articles from news outlets and from Twitter’s own recent newsletter product, Review, which has already been integrated into Twitter’s service. When customers use Scroll through Twitter, a portion of their subscription revenue will go towards supporting publishers and authors creating content, Twitter explains in a Announcement.
The service today operates on hundreds of sites including The Atlantic, The Verge, USA Today, The Sacramento Bee, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Daily Beast. For readers, the experience of using scrolls is similar to “reader view” – ads, trackers and other website junk are stripped away so readers can focus on the content.
Scroll’s pitch for publishers has been that it can deliver cleaner content that can cost them more money than advertising alone.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Twitter would bring the entire Scrolls team, which would have a total of 13 people.
For the time being, Scroll will stop new customer sign-ups so that it can focus on integrating its product into Twitter membership work and preparing for expected growth. However, it will have to continue with new publishers who want to participate in Scroll’s network after the deal closes.
And Scroll itself will return to the private beta as the team works to integrate the product into Twitter.
Twitter says that it will also air Scroll’s news aggregator Nazeel product, but will over time bring some of Nazeel’s core elements to Twitter.
“Twitter exists to serve public conversation. Journalism is the mitochondria of that conversation. It initiates, energizes and informs. This changes and confuses the approach. Regarding the acquisition of Scroll in the company’s post, Tony Hale, Scroll CEO Tony Hale said that at best it helps us stand in each other’s shoes and understand each other’s common humanity. The mission that Jack and the Twitter team gave us is simple: take the model and platform that Scroll created and put it on a scale so that everyone who uses Twitter can find it in an internet without any friction and frustration. To have the opportunity to experience a great gathering of people who like the news and pay to support it, ”he said.