While Twitter has yet to officially outline plans for its upcoming subscription service, the social media giant continues to prep for its release with the acquisition of Scroll.
In a blog post announcing the buyout, Twitter says it’s planning to enlist Scroll’s tech to create a better way to read news stories and articles “without the ads, pop-ups, and other clutter that get in the way, cleaning up the reading experience and giving people what they want: just the content.”
While details remain scarce, Twitter’s forthcoming subscription services seem poised to be Twitter’s answer to paid news aggregation apps like Apple News, which allow users to view content from a wide range of sites and publishers (both with and without paywalls) in one convenient place for a monthly fee.
In a series of tweets, Scroll CEO Tony Haile described the acquisition as a way of helping Twitter “serve the public conversation” with Scroll’s mission being to implement and scale its tech so that Twitter users “can experience an internet without friction and frustration” with a focus on “people who love the news *and* pay to support it.”
Twitter says Scroll will become “part of an upcoming subscription offering we’re currently exploring” designed to give subscribers access to premium features and content (including newsletters), with a portion of your subscription fee dedicated to paying writers and publishers for the content they create, which sounds very similar to how YouTube distributes money generated by YouTube Premium subscriptions.
The mission we’ve been given by @Twitter is simple: take Scroll and scale it so that everyone who uses Twitter can experience an internet without friction and frustration. A gathering of people who love the news *and* pay to support it.
— Tony Haile (@arctictony) May 4, 2021
While not specifically mentioned in Twitter’s blog post, Twitter’s purchase of Scroll will also impact Nuzzle, an app acquired by Scroll in 2019 that became popular for helping people create a news feed curated from stories shared by people they follow on Twitter.
The bad news for Nuzzel fans is that the app will be officially shut down this week, with the Nuzzel app, site, and email service being taken offline. In a separate blog post, Haile said “simply cloning a service conceived in 2012 doesn’t make a ton of sense,” though there may be hope for Nuzzel down the road with Twitter vice president Mike Park saying Twitter is forming a team to bring Nuzzel or elements of Nuzzel to Twitter sometime in the future.
Regardless, Twitter’s purchase of Scroll is a clear sign that Twitter is getting closer to releasing an upcoming subscription service as the company looks to become less reliant on ads as its primary source of revenue.