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

This acquisition aims to create a unified platform for sending and receiving messages from various services such as 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 into compliance with FCC rules.

Acquisition and Future Plans

The deal, valued at approximately $125 million, was announced recently. The move aligns with ongoing pressure on major tech companies from regulators in Europe and the United States to open up 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 aims to provide an accessible, encrypted and open source solution wherever possible.

Updates for users

Following the acquisition, Beeper announced several updates for its users. The application is now available to all without a waiting list.

  • 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 wish.
  • For Texts.com users, there are no immediate changes. Both Beeper and Texts share the goal of building a superior chat app, while maintaining Texts' commitment to local data processing. Team and product integration will occur over time.
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Automattic announced on their 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 leads 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 multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, ChromeOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.

Announcing the update, Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Beeper and now head of messaging at Automattic, said:

Automattic reaffirms its commitment to chat after last year's acquisition of Texts.com, a messaging app with a parallel mission. Our teams and products will merge, and I will take on the role of leading the team as head of messaging. It will take time to integrate and join forces under the Beeper brand. We have ambitious plans ahead! I'm really excited about the future of chat 📟

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