Tech

Distraction-free reading service Scroll is shutting down and becoming a feature of Twitter Blue

Distraction-free reading service Scroll will shut down in approximately 30 days and become a feature of Twitter Blue, Twitter confirmed in an email to TechCrunch. Twitter acquired Scroll in May and had said it planned to offer Scroll as a premium feature on its platform. Once Scroll shuts down as an independent service, it will become “Ad-Free Articles” as part of Twitter Blue.

“Subscribe to Twitter Blue when available to continue to read fast-loading, ad-free articles, while supporting journalism on your favorite sites,” an email sent to current Scroll subscribers states.

Currently, Scroll offers paid subscribers ad-free browsing on numerous websites, including USA Today, Buzzfeed News, The Atlantic, The Verge and more for $5 a month. Using Scroll is similar to using a reader view, as ads, trackers and other website junk is stripped so readers can focus on the content. Part of the monthly subscription goes toward funding the content that subscribers read.

Once the two companies announced the acquisition, Scroll stopped accepting new subscribers and moved to private beta, as the team worked to integrate it into Twitter. As for current subscribers, it’s unknown when the service will be available on Twitter Blue and whether there will be a direct transition. The two companies are promising to provide more information in the coming weeks.

Twitter previously noted that when subscribers use Scroll through Twitter, a portion of their subscription revenue will go to support the publishers and the writers creating the content. The social media giant had stated that premium subscribers would be able to use Scroll to easily read articles from news outlets and from Twitter’s own newsletters product, Revue, another recent acquisition that’s already been integrated into Twitter.

It’s worth noting that Twitter Blue is currently only available in Canada and Australia. The subscription gives Twitter users access to premium features, including tools to organize bookmarks and an “Undo Tweet” feature, which seems to be the closest thing Twitter will offer in relation to the long-requested “edit” button. Twitter Blue also comes with a reader mode feature, which Twitter previously noted isn’t related to its plans for Scroll. Although some may have expected something else for the feature, reader mode is more of an alternative to third-party apps like Thread Reader, as opposed to a more robust offering like Scroll.

In Canada and Australia, a Twitter Blue subscription currently costs $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD, respectively. It’s unknown if the price for Twitter Blue will increase with this upcoming integration.

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