Twitter buys would-be Slack competitor Quill

Quill will disappear this weekend.
Nathan Ingraham
N. Ingraham|12.07.21

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Nathan Ingraham
December 7th, 2021
Quill messaging service
Quill

You may not have heard of messaging service Quill, but it was positioned as a Discord- or Slack-style app for team communications that tried to be less noisy and more structured. The platform only launched this past February, but today Twitter has announce it is purchasing Quill and shutting it down this weekend. Twitter's tech GM Nick Caldwell announced the move this morning, and Quill confirmed the news in a blog post on its own site.

The fact that it's shutting down this weekend is a stunningly fast turn-around; Quill is offering details on how to export data, which any team using it will probably want to do ASAP. (They'll also want to go and find a new messaging service to use post-haste.) 

The app had billed itself as "messaging for people that focus," and it's not clear how that mission will continue as part of Twitter. Caldwell said that the goal was to have the Quill team help "make messaging tools like DMs a more useful & expressive way people can have conversations." Chances are good this is more of an acqui-hire situation, in which Twitter wanted to have the Quill team working on Twitter's existing products. Given how fast Quill is shutting down, it's pretty clear Twitter doesn't have any interest in spending resources on that existing product.

It's the second major acquisition Twitter has made in the last month or so — in mid-November, Twitter purchased Threader, a popular tool that pulled threads of tweets together into an easier to read format. Just like the Quill purchase, Twitter didn't waste much time shutting down Threader — the app is set to disappear on December 15th. (At least it got a longer lease on life than Quill.) Threader is expected to be rolled into the Twitter Blue subscription service; we'll have to see if some of Quill's legacy ends up there, as well.

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