What you need to know
- Twitter has just acquired the video chat service, Squad.
- The move comes not long after Twitter launches Snapchat-inspired Fleets.
- Squad is being shut down as early as tomorrow as part of the acquisition.
Anyone remember Squad? You won't be blamed if you don't. The app launched in 2019 as a social video chat service that included screen sharing, and allowed users to watch videos from popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. It seemed like a fairly novel approach, but many of those services eventually included similar functionality, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. Well it seems Twitter wants in, as Squad was just swiped up by the company, according to Twitter's VP of Product:
Excited to share that the @squad team is joining @Twitter to help us bring new ways for people to interact, express themselves, and join in the public conversation.Excited to share that the @squad team is joining @Twitter to help us bring new ways for people to interact, express themselves, and join in the public conversation.— Ilya Brown (@ilyabr0wn) December 11, 2020December 11, 2020
Squad CEO and co-founder, Esther Crawford, made her own announcement via a blog post on Medium:
The move comes not long after Twitter launched its own Stories-like feature, dubbed Fleets, which draws heavy inspiration from Snapchat and Facebook who have long had the feature on their own platforms. It's also a curious move for the company that famously bought and then shut down the popular Vine app. And while the move would suggest that Twitter is actually getting serious about video, it seems that Squad is being shut down effective tomorrow.
There's also been some talk that Twitter is preparing to close the door on Periscope. Some code discovered in Twitter's app seems to indicate such, as pointed out by Jane Manchun Wong:
This text found inside Twitter's app indicates the shutdown notice might be shown in future versions of the Periscope app, directing users to a FAQ page about the app pic.twitter.com/gGrNNxRLL7This text found inside Twitter's app indicates the shutdown notice might be shown in future versions of the Periscope app, directing users to a FAQ page about the app pic.twitter.com/gGrNNxRLL7— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) December 11, 2020December 11, 2020
The app was purchased back in 2015, before it was actually a thing, and was supposed to signal Twitter's seriousness about live video. But as the years went on, the Periscope app became less relevant, to the point that Twitter absorbed much of the core functions into its own Twitter Live "powered by Periscope" experience.
So far Twitter has been mum on how exactly it plans to utilize the Squad team, but the acquisition suggests plans to hopefully bring new video-focused features to Twitter soon.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.