Twitter has acquired Squad, a multi-participant video chat app that also offers a screen-sharing feature. The social media giant hasn't shared the terms of the deal but confirmed that the team behind the app will be joining its ranks. However, the app itself isn't coming aboard. In fact, the Squad app has now been shut down completely. Twitter seemingly plans to build the app's features inside the Twitter app.
"Goodbye, for now… We are excited to share that Squad has been acquired by Twitter! We are so grateful for all our customers around the world and are excited to build the future on Twitter," a banner on the official Squad website reads.
At Twitter, Squad's founder and CEO Esther Crawford will be leading a product in the conversations space. Co-founder and CTO Ethan Sutin, and the rest of the team will work in Twitter's design, engineering, and product departments.
Twitter has acquired the video chat app Squad
The Squad app allowed users to share their screens with other participants during a video chat, both on mobile as well as desktop. This enabled a group of friends to remotely discuss content from other apps. The idea has proven popular during the COVID-19 pandemic – Squad's usage had increased 1,100-percent when the pandemic first struck. The app was apparently hugely popular among teen girls. But, to their surprise, it has now been shut down.
Twitter hasn't been very fond of keeping multiple apps functioning separately from each other. Vine was shut down rather infamously. And there are now media reports that the company may shut down its live-streaming service Periscope as well. Squad, meanwhile, may find a home inside the core Twitter app. The company may incorporate its features to facilitate broader discussion of tweets, over video chat, to be precise.
Twitter recently launched Fleets, a feature that allows users to make temporary posts that disappear after 24 hours. It's essentially Twitter's version of the Stories feature found on Instagram, Facebook, and a few other social networking apps. Users have found Stories quite engaging on other apps. But Twitter is a bit late to the party and its Fleets lack many of the same key features as well. It now remains to be seen if Fleets would be another fail for the company.
Twitter doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to adding new features to its core functionality. Features like Moments and Audio Tweets have shown that Twitter struggles to expand its functionality effectively beyond tweeting. Hopefully, Squad will not have the same fate on Twitter's hands.