Twitter Plans Scroll Acquisition

Twitter announced on Tuesday, May 4, that it is acquiring Scroll, a subscription service that removes ads for news sites, as part of its own subscription plan.

“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,” Twitter VP of Product Mike Park wrote in a company blog post. “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.”

While Scroll isn’t an ad-blocker, it performs sort of the same function, using browser extensions to tell sites not to display ads. In exchange, it sends participating news websites a portion of the user’s subscription fees.

Park wrote that Scroll will help Twitter provide a “seamless reading experience” and “allow publishers to deliver cleaner content that can make them more money than today’s business models.”

As part of this undertaking, Twitter will add Scroll to its planned subscription offering, which will give subscribers access to premium features where they can read articles from various news sources or check out a writer’s newsletter on Revue. A portion of subscription fees will go toward the writers and outlets providing the content.

With the acquisition, Scroll will put a temporary halt on new subscribers. Once the deal is finalized, Twitter will begin including Scroll in its subscription plan and get to work in expanding Scroll’s publisher network, while continuing to support its existing customers and publishers.

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