Twitter hires the News Summary application team


The recent acquisition wave of Twitter continues, as the company announced that it has acquired the team from the news aggregator and the application brief summary. The startup was launched by ex-Google engineers last year to offer a subscription-based news summary app that aims to address several issues related to the news cycle, including information overload, media bias, and algorithms that have boosted engagement on news accuracy. Twitter declined to share the terms of the deal.

While Brave's ambitious project to reform news consumption has shown a lot of hope, its growth may have been hampered by the subscription model it has adopted. The New York Times Basic digital subscription is currently only $4 a week for the first year of service thanks to a promotion.

Twitter says the startup team, which also includes two other employees, will join Twitter's group where they will work on areas that support public conversation on Twitter, including Twitter Spaces and Explore.

While Twitter won't go into details of what these tasks might include, the company told TechCrunch that it hopes to leverage the founders' expertise through Brief to build and accelerate projects in both areas.

Explore is of course Twitter's "News" section, where top stories are grouped across categories along with trending topics. What is currently lacking, however, is a comprehensive approach to summarizing the news down to basic facts and providing balance as Brief provided. Instead, Twitter news items include a headline and a short description of the story, followed by featured tweets.

It's also possible to imagine some sort of news-focused product built into Twitter's own subscription service, Twitter Blue - but that's just speculation at this point.

Twitter says it has proactively reached out to Brief with her offer. As part of its current merger and acquisition strategy, the company is seeking talent that will complement its existing teams and help accelerate the development of its products.

Over the past year, Twitter has made similar deployments, including for distraction-free reading service Scroll, social podcast app Breaker, social screen-sharing app Squad, and API Reshuffle integration platform. It also bought products like newsletter platform Revue, which was integrated directly, and the company even held acquisition talks with Clubhouse and ShareChat in India, which would have been much larger M&A deals.

He said, Andrea and I created a news-building feed that promoted healthy discourse, and Twitter’s genuine commitment to improving public conversation is very inspiring. While we cannot discuss details of future plans, we are confident that our experience in the digest will help accelerate many Exciting things happening on Twitter.

Hobbs said, the team remains optimistic about the future of paid journalism as well, with a brief statement that some customers will be paying for a new and improved news experience.

Elijah Kernos, co-founder and CTO of SignalFire, who supported Brief in the initial phase said, it was a groundbreaking feed in a new vision of journalism, focused on providing you with only the news you need rather than as much as you can afford. To its readers, SignalFire is proud to support founders Nick Hobbs and Andrea Huey, who are bringing this philosophy to the leading source of breaking news - Twitter.

So far Brief has raised 1 million in seed funding from SignalFire and a handful of angel investors, including Sequoia Scouts like David Lieb, Maia Bittner, and Matt Macinnis.

As a result of today's deal, it will briefly end its subscription app on July 31. The company says it will alert its existing user base today with a notification of its upcoming closure, but the app will remain in the App Store introducing new features that allow users to explore its archives.


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