Thursday, April 11, 2024

Automattic Acquires Beeper

Eric Migicovsky (tweet, Hacker News, MacRumors):

I’m excited to announce that Beeper has been acquired by Automattic. This acquisition marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter as we continue our mission to create the best chat app on earth.


Given the state of the messaging landscape today, we believe there is a huge opportunity for us to push boundaries and create new experiences in chat. The majority of other chat apps have stagnated, entrenched in their positions, with no significant new players emerging since Discord’s launch in 2015. Given the state of the messaging world, we’ve long felt the need for a strong ally with the resources to support us on our quest. Automattic has a long history of putting user control and privacy first with open source, and great bilateral relationships with Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Matrix and others that we hope can usher in a new era of collaboration.


Matt, Automattic’s CEO, and I have known each other for years. He was an early user, supporter and investor in Beeper. We’re very well aligned on our goal (build the best chat app on earth), approach (open source where possible), and independence (Beeper will operate independently as part of Automattic’s Other Bets division).

Matt Mullenweg:

We’re going to use the Beeper brand, because it’s fun. This is not unlike how browsers have evolved, where solid tech and encryption on top of an open ecosystem has created untold value for humanity.


A lot of people are asking about iMessage on Android… I have zero interest in fighting with Apple, I think instead it’s best to focus on messaging networks that want more engagement from power-user clients.

Sarah Perez:

The deal, which was for $125 million according to sources close to the matter, is Automattic’s second acquisition of a cross-platform messaging solution after buying last October.


Automattic had previously made a strategic investment of $4.6 million in Element (previously New Vector), another company building on Matrix, and it contributes annually to, as does Beeper.

Dare Obasanjo:

$125M for a 25 person team whose claim to fame is getting blocked by Apple for trying to interop with iMessage is a sweet exit.

Automattic’s bet on Tumblr didn’t work out and so it’s looking at messaging as its next growth vehicle. Telegram is valued at $30B and claims to make hundreds of millions in revenue so it makes sense for Automattic to try this. Either that or short form video 😁

Nick Heer:

Seems like a smart way for Beeper to become better resourced, and a bet by Automattic on more legislation like the Digital Markets Act enabling further interoperable messaging.


Update (2024-04-12): John Gruber:

While the Beeper Mini/iMessage thing is where Beeper garnered, by far, the most publicity, it was always a sideshow from their primary goal of building a universal messaging app for multiple (14!) platforms. Think of it like a modern-day Adium.


Now that I’ve tried Beeper for Mac (connecting Twitter/X, WhatsApp, Signal, Instagram, and Slack accounts) — it’s remarkable how similar it is to Texts. They’re both Electron/React apps, and both suffer from a lot of Electron-isms. (What in the world is going on with the keyboard shortcuts in the contextual menu for the text editing field?) Both are just big bloated Electron web apps pretending, by appearance, to be Mac apps.

Update (2024-04-26): John Gruber:



Putting aside the thirstiness of asking for an app to remain running in the background, despite it consuming 1.8 GB of RAM in idle state, “Close” does not mean “Quit” in Mac parlance, and the Cancel button should be on the left.

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