Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Tumblr, Pocket Casts, and other popular web properties, has acquired the messaging app Texts for $50 million. Texts is an app that allows users to log in to multiple messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Signal, and view and respond to all their messages in one place. The app aims to unify different inboxes into a single interface.
Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s CEO, sees the acquisition of Texts as a significant investment for the company. Automattic’s focus has previously been on publishing and commerce, and messaging will now become its third pillar. Mullenweg believes that messaging, self-publishing, and commerce cover a significant portion of human activity and require open-source solutions in the long term.
Mullenweg supports decentralized and open-source messaging networks like Matrix and wants to let users decide which standards they prefer instead of forcing them into one specific system. He praises Texts’ founder, Kishan Bagaria, and values the app’s security model, which prioritizes on-device encryption instead of relying on cloud storage.
The Texts team will work on finishing the app’s mobile version, which presents technical challenges while maintaining end-to-end encryption. The current subscription model may be modified in the future to include a limited free version. Mullenweg believes there is a business opportunity in messaging, considering that online interaction is shifting towards private group chats.
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