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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Online discussion service Discord plans to announce today it has hired the teams behind two startups as it seeks to further diversify its audience beyond gamers.

Why it matters: The two "acquihires" are designed to both help keep existing Discord users more engaged and help make the service more appealing to two lucrative constituencies — brands and content creators.

Details:

  • Discord is hiring the nine people behind Byte, which focuses on content creators, and the six people behind Zyper, which works with brands.
  • Discord isn't buying the assets of either company and plans to redirect the staff of each to help Discord broaden the reach of its own core service.

The big picture: Discord has pledged to avoid both advertising and collecting user data, making outreach to brands and content creators important to the company's ability to grow profitably.

What they're saying: Discord COO Mak Azadi told Axios that the moves are designed to help the company staff up more rapidly than it could through traditional hiring.

  • "2020 was a big year for Discord," Azadi said. "And in order to build on this momentum, we have to hire a lot of awesome people this year."

Go deeper: Discord looks to grow beyond its gaming roots

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Israeli forces said they had killed a senior Hamas commander in May 12 airstrikes. Gaza's health ministry said children died in the strikes. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It comes days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Biden admin grants Colonial waiver to ease fuel shortages

Fuel tanks at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration approved a temporary waiver of shipping requirements late Wednesday to help Colonial Pipeline transport fuel, as service resumes across the U.S. following last week's ransomware attack that that took it offline.

Why it matters: The century-old Jones Act requires ships to be built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers, but the waiver means foreign companies can transport gasoline and diesel to areas where there are fuel shortages.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about former President Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.