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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Twitter on Tuesday said it has acquired Revue, a newsletter platform for writers and publishers.

Why it matters: The deal marks Twitter's first step into building out long-form content experiences on Twitter, and its first foray into subscription revenue.

Details: While deal terms weren't disclosed, Twitter presumably didn't break the bank to acquire Revue. The five-year-old Dutch company has 6 employees and has raised only around $318,000, according to Crunchbase.

  • Twitter will be acquiring the team and plans to expand it once onboard.
  • Revue offers free and paid newsletter options. The free version lets writers send newsletters to up to 50 people. The paid version lets them email up to 40,000 people.
  • Revue takes a 6% cut of paid newsletter revenues as a part of its transaction fee. Twitter says it will be lowering that cut to 5%.

Twitter says it welcomes all creators to join the platform, including experts, curators, journalists, publishers and more.

  • It plans to create new features that will make it easier for writers to connect with their audiences, including allowing people to sign up for newsletters from people they follow on Twitter and adding new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers on Twitter.
  • "It will all work seamlessly within Twitter," Twitter's Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour and VP of Publisher Products Mike Park said in a statement.

Revue will remain an independent brand within Twitter, and Twitter will continue to invest in Revue as a standalone service, the company said.

  • Twitter says it hopes to expand the Revue team. Over time, that team will be responsible for building out more "discovery, reading, and conversational experiences" centered around long-form content on Twitter," Beykpour and Park said.
  • Moving forward, Twitter will "supercharge" Revue's offering by helping writers grow their paid subscriber lists.
  • Twitter says writers can expect some sort of paid compensation based on how many Twitter users they convert to subscribers.
  • The company says it will continue to develop new ways to support writers, perhaps with other revenue streams down the line.

Flashback: While this is by far Twitter's most aggressive push into long-form content, the company has made a few changes to its core product in the past few years that have helped to usher in more long-form text on its platform.

Be smart: Twitter sets the news cycle's pulse because so many journalists are addicted to it. The addition of long-form writing could help strengthen the company's relationship with journalists, thought leaders, and subject matter experts that are looking for a space to share deeper thoughts.

  • The writers "are a valuable part of the conversation and it’s critical we offer new ways for them to create and share their content, and importantly, help them grow and better connect with their audience," said Beykpour and Park.
  • They note that the deal will "help people stay informed about their interests while giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience – whether it’s through the one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter, or elsewhere."

The big picture: The newsletter publishing space is becoming more crowded as users flock to email to help sort through the massive scale and clutter on the web.

  • There are numerous tech firms getting into the newsletter business, like Substack, TinyLetter, Lede, and Ghost, as well as several editorial publishers, like Patch and Forbes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."