Last week, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down to focus on his payments app Square (which has since been renamed to Block).
Now one of the first acts of former CTO and now interim CEO Parag Agrawal is to acquire Quill for an undisclosed sum.
Quill was founded in 2017 by Stripe’s former creative director Ludwig Pettersson.
It was created to improve the quality of workplace communication; it focuses on enabling productivity, rather than engagement, something that has become crucial in pandemic remote working.
Over the past four years, Quill has attracted $14.5 million in funding, including a $12.5 million Series A in 2019.
This acquisition is yet more evidence that the future of work will be hybrid and distributed and that communication tools will play a crucial part.
This is because the deal also comes within a few months of Salesforce buying Slack for $27.7 billion.
Joining forces with Twitter
— Ludwig Pettersson (@ludwig) December 7, 2021
According to a Quill blog post, as a result of the deal, Quill will be shut down, all user data will be deleted, and users will be refunded.
Now Quill’s team will move into Twitter’s experience organization and work on its messaging tools, including direct messages.
Could this be a sign that Twitter is keen to spin off its messaging function into a new app like Facebook did with Messenger?
Twitter’s general manager for core tech Nick Caldwell tweeted:
.@ludwig and his talented team built Quill as a fresher, more deliberate way to communicate. We’re bringing their experience and creativity to Twitter as we work to make messaging tools like DMs a more useful & expressive way people can have conversations on the service.
— Nick Caldwell🔪🧼 (@nickcald) December 7, 2021
Quill’s blog post noted: “Together with Twitter, we will continue to pursue our original goal — to make online communication more thoughtful, and more effective, for everyone.”
This is in line with Twitter’s broader deal strategy. For instance, in 2015, it acquired Periscope to improve its live video streaming capabilities, rather than developing those skills in-house.
Buying Quill may be Twitter’s first foray into the booming HR market, but it is doubtful it’ll be the last.