Twitter, which launched invite-only Communities in September, has acquired London-based group chat app Sphere. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded by Tomas Halgas and Nick D’Aloisio, Sphere had raised at least $30 million, including $11.8 million in the first two rounds, Techcrunch reported.
As a product built around community conversations, the Sphere app focuses on optimizing relevant engagement within each group to help build bonds and maximize engagement, by offering features like Zen Flow, which tries to highlight the most relevant group chat items for each member.
“It’s been a long and exciting journey to this point. Like many startups, Sphere started with a very different mission — to help anyone find and share knowledge instantly through the creation of a “global brain”. We originally built a marketplace of paid experts from all around the world, connecting them through group chat.” Sphere said in a blog post.
“What we realised is that some of the most helpful and knowledgeable conversations came from groups where members felt a strong sense of belonging to one another. In other words, at the heart of our challenge was helping every single person find their community.”
Sphere says that it will be winding down its standalone product next month and its headcount of 20 will continue within Communities, Direct Messages and Creator initiatives at Twitter.
“Much like others, we’ve been watching and admiring Twitter’s growing investment in community-building with the release of Communities, Spaces, and features that promote safety. When we met the team, we were even more impressed by how seriously they are pursuing interest-based community and how much they believe in its potential impact.”