British entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio, who at the age of 17 sold the Summly mobile app to Yahoo for $ 30 million (£ 21.73 million), sold his latest company to Twitter.
Sphere group chat app was founded by D’Aloisio and Tomas Halgas.
Sphere, which connects strangers interested in common topics, has been sold for an undisclosed amount and will close in November.
Its approximately 20 employees will join Twitter to integrate their community features into the social network.
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The company started out as a question and answer app that allowed users to chat instantly with paid experts. At the end of 2018, nearly 500,000 people were using that version of the platform.
However, D’Aloisio said he was drawn to the community aspect of the app which brought together strangers interested in the same topics.
“The interesting thing was that people talked so often throughout the day, and it wasn’t just about talking to their friends on Facebook, but to someone they had never met before about something they were interested in,” he told the BBC. .
As a result, the app has slowly shifted towards group chats.
Sphere features include the ability to:
- create multiple chats for a single group
- sends out highlighted ads so that no one in a group misses out on anything
- send notifications to people or just to those who have yet to read a message
“Many of the existing messaging apps are aimed at groups who already know each other, but with Sphere the goal was to unlock new dynamics and bring together people around the world with shared interests.”
D’Aloisio said he was impressed with the toxicity on platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter, which was widely criticized for its handling of harassment and trolling.
Earlier this year, Twitter introduced a message alerting users to the tone of their message and asking if they still want to post it.
And in September, the platform began testing its new security mode which will flag accounts using hate comments or bombard people with uninvited comments and block them for seven days.
“They are as excited as we are about trying to solve this problem in online communities,” D’Aloisio said. “It is not only an extremely interesting problem, but also a necessity.
“All groups have the potential to become authentic communities. But most groups suffer from online communication problems that prevent community building – things like awkward silences, off-topic conversations and vitriol.
“However, over the past two years we have learned that a group can transform itself into a community if its members feel that their participation is welcome.”
Twitter has been making efforts to expand and evolve its platform in the past few months.
The company attempted to acquire the Clubhouse audio room app before finally switching to unveil its own similar feature, Twitter Spaces.
And in May, bought the news reading startup Scroll, which states that it will be implemented in its services in the future.
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This Article is Sourced from BBC News. You can check the original article here: Source