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Photo: Scroll

Twitter on Tuesday announced it's acquiring Scroll, the venture-backed news upstart from former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile.

Why it matters: It's Twitter's second acquisition this year that's meant to help people read more long-form on the platform. In January, Twitter bought the newsletter publishing platform Revue.

Catch up quick: Scroll launched last year to help publishers make more money while also giving users who hate ads a better internet experience.

  • Users to pay a monthly fee for access to websites they already use but are scrubbed of all ads. With that user revenue, Scroll sends its partner-publishers more money per user than they would make per user while serving them ads.
  • Haile said in a statement that while Scroll's business model is working well, the company needs to move faster to innovate, hence the deal.

Details: In the short-term, Scroll will temporarily pause new customer sign-ups so that it can integrate its product into Twitter. The service will go into private beta while it integrates into Twitter's subscription offerings later this year.

  • In the long-term, Twitter says Scroll will become a meaningful addition to its subscriptions products. Twitter users that subscribe to Scroll will be able to read articles ad-free from hundreds publishers that work with Scroll, including The Atlantic, The Verge, USA Today, The Sacramento Bee and more.
  • Scroll will wind down Nuzzel, the news intelligence product it acquired in 2019, but in the future, elements of Nuzzel will be embedded directly into Twitter.
  • Financial deal terms were not announced, but presumably the deal is relatively small. Twitter will bring on the entire Scroll team, which is just 13 people.

The big picture: The deal speaks to Twitter's new focus on long-term content efforts, and its commitment to helping publishers succeed. Unlike some of its tech rivals, Twitter almost never gets into public spats with media companies over distribution terms.

  • "Analysts joke that Twitter suffers in comparison to other platforms because the value realized by third parties from Twitter is far greater than the value it is able to capture for itself," Haile said in a statement. "They see this as a weakness. It is a strength."

Go deeper

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

4 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).