Twitter today announced that it is acquiring Squad and that a team from the social screen-sharing app will join the ranks of Twitter. Squad’s co-founders, CEO Esther Crawford and CTO Ethan Soutine, and the rest of the team will be working in Twitter’s design, development, and product teams, Twitter tells us. Crawford specifically notes that she will be the product leader in the conversational space.
What wouldn’t be on board was the actual Squad app, which allowed users to share their screens on mobile or desktop computers while video chatting at the same time. This feature was aimed at finding friends when screen sharing outside of the corporate use case. representation. Twitter confirms that the app will be closed tomorrow, which is an unwelcome surprise to its user base, which is mostly teenage girls.
Twitter declined to announce further terms of the deal.
The app’s functionality seems natural to the service, although the company hasn’t confirmed if any of the technologies will come as part of the deal. Twitter does not seek to have individual applications run outside of the main Twitter application. Vine was sadly shut down, frustrating users who likely later rallied behind TikTok, a huge success story and perhaps one of the biggest missed opportunities for American social media. Meanwhile, Periscope, which has largely stumbled over the years, is in a particularly vulnerable spot with the application code emerging only today, indicating an imminent application shutdown.
Squad worked closely with Snap and was one of the first to use many of the company’s Snap Kit developer tools. Building so many apps using Snap’s developer tools could make porting the technology to Twitter’s infrastructure more challenging, especially when you consider how often Snap Kit apps are quite tightly coupled with the Snapchat user graph.
Squad, startup versus bro, creates a safe space for teenage girls online
Squad has raised $7.2 million in venture capital from First Round, Y Combinator, betaworks, Halogen Ventures, former TechCrunch editor Alexia Bonatsos Dream Machine and a host of other investors. In early 2020, Squad was in the right place at the right time. When the pandemic first broke, CEO Esther Crawford reported that usage of her app had grown by 1,100%.
Crawford elaborated on the challenges of scaling the modern social application while avoiding the toxicity traps that seem to so often occur when reaching new heights. In an interview last year, she told us that her team is “trying to learn from the best at what they did, but get rid of the shit.”
In the Medium post, Crawford also took advantage of her startup’s exit in the Medium post to lobby investors to start supporting more diverse founders.
“I hope our departure tilts the balance a little more towards persuading investors to invest in different teams, because each success is further proof that we, historically undercapitalized and undervalued founders, are a good bet,” Crawford wrote in a post Medium. “Invest in women and people of color because we will make you money.”