Beeper messaging app acquired by Automattic for $125 Million

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Automattic, the company known for WordPress and WooCommerce, has acquired Beeper, a messaging app that consolidates 14 chat networks into one inbox.

This acquisition aims to create a unified platform for sending and receiving messages from various services like WhatsApp, Signal, and others.

Beeper gained attention in February when Apple disabled its Beeper Mini service, which allowed Android users to access iMessage. This action prompted an investigation by FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr regarding compliance with FCC regulations.

Acquisition and Future Plans

The deal, valued at approximately $125 million, was announced recently. This move aligns with the ongoing pressure on major tech companies by regulators in Europe and the United States to open their messaging services to third parties.

The company plans to merge Texts and Beeper under the Beeper brand gradually. This merger aims to address the challenges users face with multiple chat apps, each with different contacts and settings. Automattic intends to provide an accessible, encrypted, and open-source solution where possible.

Updates for Users

Upon acquisition, Beeper announced several updates for its users. The app is now available to everyone without a waitlist.

  • Privacy policies and terms of service remain unchanged, with messages encrypted and only accessible to users. The business model remains the same, offering a free chat app with premium features available for purchase. Users can delete their accounts if they choose.
  • For users of Texts.com, there are no immediate changes. Both Beeper and Texts share a goal of building a superior chat app, with Texts’ commitment to local data processing preserved. Integration of teams and products will occur over time.

Automattic announced on its blog that they will provide further updates once a phased plan is established to fully integrate the Texts app with Beeper. They expressed optimism about the future of “open messaging.”

Leadership Changes

Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Beeper, now heads messaging at Automattic. With more than 115,000 users, Beeper sees opportunities for innovation in the messaging space under its new ownership, and Beeper will operate as an independent team.

Availability

With the acquisition, Beeper has officially launched and is no longer in beta. It is available for download on various platforms including Android, iOS, ChromeOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.

Announcing the update, Eric Migicovsky, Beeper CEO and now Automattic Head of Messaging, stated:

Automattic is reaffirming its commitment to chat following its acquisition last year of Texts.com, a messaging app with a parallel mission. Our teams and products will merge, and I will step into the role of leading the team as Head of Messaging. It will take some time for us to integrate and unite forces under the Beeper brand. We have ambitious plans ahead! I’m genuinely thrilled about the future of chat 📟

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