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Twitter Buys Screen-Sharing Video Chat Startup Squad

Twitter has acquired Squad, a Silicon Valley startup that gives people the ability to hang out virtually with friends on other apps, Squad announced in a blog post and Twitter tweeted on Friday (Dec. 11).

Squad will help Twitter “bring new ways for people to interact, express themselves, and join in the public conversation,” Twitter Vice President of Product Ilya Brown said in a tweet.

The Squad team brings “a deep understanding of how people participate in interactive audio and video conversations” and will “accelerate our work to bring people new and creative tools to start and join conversations on the service,” Brown added in follow-up tweets.

“Four and a half years ago when my cofounder Ethan Sutin and I started the company we were determined to build a consumer social product whose purpose and mission was rooted in facilitating authentic connection. We saw the problem of loneliness and wanted to use technology to help solve it,” Squad Co-Founder and CEO Esther Crawford wrote in the blog post.

Squad launched in early 2019 with a “vision of reimagining live conversational formats” she said, but after the pandemic hit, “it took on an entirely different and more vital role. It wasn’t just something people wanted — now it was what they needed,” Crawford said.

Saturday (Dec. 12) will be the last day people can access the Squad app, the company said on its website.

The Squad app enabled users to share their screens on mobile or desktop and simultaneously video chat.

Twitter is among several tech companies — including Mozilla, Automatic and Vimeo — that asked European Union regulators to “defend the Open Internet.” The EU is working on a European Democracy Action Plan and the Digital Services Act.

The companies sent an open letter stating that the new rules “will either renew the promise of the Open Internet or compound a problematic status quo – by limiting our online environment to a few dominant gatekeepers, while failing to meaningfully address the challenges preventing the internet from realizing its potential.”

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