Venture

Twitter Brings On A San Mateo Seed-Stage Startup That Works On Stories

San Francisco-based Twitter, a social media platform that lets users send 280-character messages to an audience, has brought on a seed-stage company close to home: Chroma Labs. While Twitter confirmed the acquisition, the company did not disclose the price of the deal.

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Chroma Labs was founded in 2018 by ex-Instagram and Facebook employees Alex Li, John Barnett and Joshua Harris to help social media gurus create aesthetic and interactive stories. For those of you who don’t know what stories are, think of them as posts that generally expire after being posted for 24 hours (of course, exceptions exist).  From a quick look on Product Hunt, Chroma Labs helps users create templates and filters, as well as “powerful text tools.” Some phrase it as a competitor to Unfold, which I wrote about before and was acquired by Squarespace in October 2019.

Chroma Labs, in its website post, claims millions have used the company to create stories. According to a post on Chroma Labs’ website, the business is shutting down, “effectively immediately.”

Interestingly enough, Twitter doesn’t (yet) have the feature for users to post stories, which is precisely what Chroma Labs is focused on. Its closest attempt at Stories-style posting is here. It tells us that there might be a pretty innovative product update in the future. Until that is clarified, let’s look at what we have so far.

Kayvon Beykpour, a product lead at Twitter and the co-founder of Periscope, tweeted that the team will “join our product, design, and eng teams working to give people more creative ways to express themselves on Twitter.”

And finally, in Twitter’s latest earnings report it also pointed to key objectives “increasing development velocity and trust” and “increasing healthy public conversation.” With today’s investment, it seems like Twitter’s trying to tackle both in one go.

In an email to Crunchbase News, a Twitter spokesperson pointed to the company’s broader hiring goals: “We are approaching hiring in many different ways given our global hiring targets this year: acquisitions, recruiting, acquihire and team hires.

“We’re continuing to acquire talent to bolster our talent, leadership and expertise in order to better serve the public conversation.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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