Twitter to purchase Scroll as it beefs up subscription ambitions


Twitter Inc. plans to acquire Scroll, a subscription service that lets people read articles from various news sources without advertisements, as the social-media company broadens its own subscription aims.

and Scroll each announced the acquisition in Tuesday morning blog posts, with Twitter calling the deal “an exciting opportunity for us to introduce this proven model to publishers on our service and make reading the news better for everyone involved.”

Scroll already works with publishers including the Atlantic, The Verge, USA Today, and The Sacramento Bee, and the company promises an ad-free reading experience that loads quickly. The company argues that its business model allows publishers to make more money than they would by showing ads.

Twitter sees Scroll as one peg of its subscription ambitions.

“As a Twitter subscriber, picture getting access to premium features where you can easily read articles from your favorite news outlet or a writer’s newsletter from Revue, with a portion of your subscription going to the publishers and writers creating the content,” the company said in its blog post. Twitter didn’t disclose deal terms in its post.

Scroll is moving to a private beta mode and will pause new subscriptions as Twitter works on integrating the service into its umbrella.

Scroll also runs Nuzzel, a service that creates a personalized list of the most important news in a given industry. That service will shut down as of May 6, but Twitter will look for ways to “take the best of the Nuzzel experience and build it directly into Twitter,” according to a Nuzzel blog post.

Twitter’s stock dropped 2.3% in morning trading Tuesday toward a 3-month low. It has declined 5.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 index
has gained 7.1%.

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