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Twitter acquires OpenBack to help make push notifications better

Twitter logo on a Pixel 4 XL
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Twitter has acquired OpenBack, a mobile platform that helps make apps more engaging through device-side control of push notifications. 

Jay Sullivan, head of OpenBack's consumer products, said in a tweet thread that The OpenBack team would be joining Twitter. In the process, it will "help improve our ability to deliver the right notifications at the right time, in a way that puts people's privacy first."

"The best push notifications bring people to the conversations they care about on Twitter. But irrelevant notifications are a distraction. With millions of people visiting Twitter via notifications every day, we want them to be timely, relevant and engaging."

The deal's financial terms were not disclosed, and a Twitter spokesperson declined to share the deal terms. They did, however, indicate that the platform is "continuing to look at ways to better personalize the Twitter experience." The move to acquire OpenBack will help its goal to enhance the notifications experience so that the platform can connect people with relevant content at the right time. The move could make the experience using Twitter better on the best Android phones out there. 

Twitter told Android Central that the team at OpenBack will join Twitter's Bluebird product team, where they will be focused on the notifications product.

As it stands, Twitter already provides users with fairly extensive control of their notifications, letting users choose the types of push notifications to receive as well as the topics and people they would like to receive notifications about. Twitter users can also mute notifications and words they don't want to see, and there's also an option to "filter low-quality content" from your notifications.

For now, it's not clear how Twitter plans to improve on this. David Shackleton, OpenBack's CEO, tweeted that the goal of his company was to make "push notifications truly user first for billions of people in a new way, and this opportunity to work with Twitter fulfills that in many ways."

Shruti Shekar
Shruti Shekar

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's senior reporter and also the second Canadian on the team. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.