Twitter Acquires Scroll, News Site Ad Blocker, Amid Plans for Subscription Service

Twitter Acquires Scroll, News Site Ad Blocker, Amid Plans for Subscription Service

Sean Burch

Twitter on Tuesday announced it had acquired Scroll, a startup that gives users ad-free access to news sites in exchange for a $5 monthly fee. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Scroll, which was founded in early 2020, says on its website that “no ads means a cleaner internet with no distractions that’s twice as fast and much more private.” The New York City-based company offers publishers that opt-in to its ad blocker a cut of its subscription revenue; partners include The Atlantic, BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast, among other outlets.

“Those who create and consume news know that reading — and more broadly, journalism — deserve a better future,” Mike Park, Twitter’s vice president of product, said in a blog post. “Scroll will help us build that future, solving one of the most frustrating parts about reading content online.”

Park added Scroll is a “meaningful addition” that’ll be part of a “subscription offering” Twitter is exploring, although details on Twitter’s subscription features were kept to a minimum.

Scroll’s 13-person team will join Twitter and pause adding new publishers to its platform for the time being.

Twitter has already been exploring new ways to generate more revenue, including a new feature that allows users to charge their followers for exclusive content.

The move comes after Twitter reported last week it added 7 million new daily users — or about 1 million less than the company and Wall Street analysts had projected — during Q1. The new users pushed Twitter to 199 million daily users overall. Twitter’s stock took a hit in the aftermath, falling from about $65 per share to $54.47 per share on Tuesday, essentially wiping out all of Twitter’s 2021 gains up until last week.

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