Automattic Acquires Beeper, Bets On Apple Losing to DOJ

Automattic, the maker of WordPress, has acquired Beeper, the company behind a high-profile attempt to bring iMessage to Android....
Automattic Acquires Beeper, Bets On Apple Losing to DOJ
Written by Matt Milano
  • Automattic, the maker of WordPress, has acquired Beeper, the company behind a high-profile attempt to bring iMessage to Android.

    Beeper recently engaged in a very public attempt to bring iMessage to Android. Unlike other companies’ attempts, Beeper’s solution did not rely on using a Mac as a go-between. As a result, Beeper was the first solution to maintain end-to-end encryption and provide iMessage on Android in a secure and private manner. Apple immediately retaliated, repeatedly blocking Beeper until the smaller company finally gave up.

    Despite the setbacks, Automattic clearly sees the messaging app’s potential to fix the mess that is current smartphone messaging, as the company makes clear in its announcement.

    Messaging today is a mess. We have endless chat apps on our phones, each with different contacts and notification settings, making it all too easy to accidentally ghost family and friends.

    That’s why we’re excited to announce today that Automattic has acquired Beeper, a universal messaging app that combines 14 different chat networks in one inbox. We began investing in messaging last year when we acquired Now, two of the most exciting teams in tech will work together to push the boundaries of messaging, giving us one app that will improve our focus and the way we communicate.

    Automattic says it will be merging its own Texts with Beeper, using the Beeper brand moving forward.

    Beeper has been a leader in simplifying chat apps with a focus on streamlined user experiences. As the teams go through organizational changes, Texts and Beeper will merge under the Beeper brand. But the good stuff you already loved isn’t changing! End-to-end encryption helps keep your conversations secure, and you’ll have access to well over a dozen app integrations, with even more to come.

    We’ll share another update when a phased plan is in place to fully merge the Texts app with Beeper. For now, keep enjoying both apps—and know that the future of open messaging just got even brighter.

    Read More: Apple’s Paranoia, Hubris, & Hypocrisy to Blame For DOJ’s Lawsuit

    While Automattic’s announcement makes no mention of Apple, it’s hard to imagine that this move isn’t influenced by the DOJ’s recent antitrust lawsuit against Apple, especially since the DOJ made specific mention of Apple’s efforts to undermine cross-platform messaging.

    Excluding Cross-Platform Messaging Apps. Apple has made the quality of cross-platform messaging worse, less innovative, and less secure for users so that its customers have to keep buying iPhones.

    Lawmakers were quick to notice Apple’s efforts to kill Beeper, a move that hurt its own customers as much as Android users by removing a method of secure communication between the platforms, something Apple itself does not currently provide.

    Automattic appears to be hedging its bets that lawmakers will force Apple to embrace cross-platform messaging. If its bets are right, the WordPress maker will be ideally positioned to become a major player in the messaging space.

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