Twitter buys Scroll as its subscription service plan takes shape

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Twitter has made a flurry of announcements this week, with the latest being its acquisition of Scroll.

For those unfamiliar with Scroll, it is a subscription-based browsing platform that allows users to visit and read websites sans ads, provided said website has signed up with the platform.

This acquisition is latest piece of a puzzle that could see Twitter launch a subscription-based news service of its own, akin to what Google and Apple have, but the key selling point would be an ad-free experience now that it has bought Scroll.

“If Twitter is where so much of this conversation lives, it should be easier and simpler to read the content that drives it,” espouses Twitter’s VP of Product, Mike Park.

“That’s why we’re excited to announce that Twitter is acquiring Scroll. Scroll has built a way to read 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. Meanwhile, publishers who work with Scroll can bring in more revenue than they would from traditional ads on a page. It’s a better Internet for readers and for writers,” he adds.

The bigger picture is yet to take shape, but Park has already hinted at what could be happening within the coming months.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce this proven model to publishers on our service and make reading the news better for everyone involved. Looking ahead, Scroll will become a meaningful addition to our subscriptions work as we build and shape a future subscription service on Twitter,” the VP points out.

In the interim, Scroll will not be taking on new sign-ups, according to Park. Once the acquisition is finalised, Twitter will be adding the service to its platform and array of subscription-based offerings.

With Spaces also getting a wider release this week, it looks like Twitter’s plans to expand outside of social media and micro blogging are indeed taking shape.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.

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