Twitter Enters Newsletter Biz Through Revue Acquisition

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Twitter’s 280-character limit can be a bit confining. But the social media heavyweight is finally turning its attention to the more verbose among us.

Twitter announced Tuesday it has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that allows writers to create and monetize email newsletters.

A Strong Revue

Founded in 2015, Revue is not exactly a media conglomerate. The 6-employee firm’s platform gives users the digitals tools to build and publish free or paid newsletters. But despite its single-digit payroll, Revue has already attracted major publishers like Vox Media and The Chicago Sun-Times to its service.

In absorbing the compact firm, Twitter will look to harness its own base of publications, journalists and writers as more than just rent-free tweeters:

  • Revue will (for now) remain a standalone product tasked with “improving the ways writers create their newsletters, build their audience and get paid for their work.” Long-term, Twitter is dreaming up new features like allowing users to subscribe to newsletters and writers to host conversations “seamlessly within Twitter.”
  • Revue’s “pro” features will be free going forward and the fee charged on paid newsletters will drop from 6% to 5%.

Swallowing Revue could lead Twitter to new revenue streams through long-form content and paid subscriptions. But product lead Kayvon Beykpour underscored the user benefits, saying “Twitter is uniquely positioned to help organizations and writers grow their readership faster and at a much larger scale than anywhere else.”

The Competition Is Stacking Up

Substack, another prominent newsletter service (and now, Twitter rival) has been luring away high-profile journalists and incubating newsletters with its DIY model:

  • The Everything Bundle, a package of newsletters operating on Substack for less than a year is now spreading its wings with $600K in seed funding and its own in-house newsletter software. It’s being rebranded as Every and becoming a self-described “writer collective.”

While a number of promising writers are cutting their teeth on Substack, its 10% cut on paid newsletters is double that of Revue’s freshly discounted 5% fee. With Twitter joining the fray, the newsletter wars are heating up.

The Takeaway:

Here at The Daily Upside, we welcome the healthy competition. Bring it on, Dorsey.