Facebook acqui-hires Tugboat Yards, a California-based start-up that designs tools for small and medium-sized web publishers to receive payments from readers. The move will help the social networking site keep a hold on publishing and may get users to spend more time on the platform.
Facebook offers broader scope
What Tugboat offers is a growing service for accepting payments from readers. It allows writers and content creators to turn their passion into a career or a side job. Facebook is definitely a more lucrative platform, and integration of the payment service will put content writers more at ease in publishing their writing on the platform, thus reaching a wider base, other than mainstream media institutions such as The New York Times and Buzzfeed, which are already working in collaboration with Facebook.
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Tugboat CEO and co-founder Andrew Anker wrote in a blog post that with a mixed feeling of excitement and melancholy, the company will shut down on June 30 and join the Facebook product team to work on media products such as news and videos. Tugboat will shut down, but Anker suggests that users can try services such as Patreon, Memberfull and TinyPass if they are looking to get paid for their content.
Tugboat’s site will be kept live for an additional two weeks “to allow for data export and will shut down for good on July 15, 2015,” said Anker.
Started in 2012, the start-up was located in San Francisco, and its initial investors included Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. Anker and Brad Whittaker co-founded Tugboat Yards in 2012. At that time they were working at Six Apart, the company that owns LiveJournal and is popular for developing the popular TypePad blog hosting service.
Anker stated that their real purpose in starting Tugboat was the disorganized audience management platform for small and medium publishers, and this is still a concern. “We are excited by the opportunity to work on solving these problems with a much broader scope at Facebook,” said Anker.
Tugboat and its integrated features helped people who created podcasts, magazines and other content to receiving tips and payments. The service enabled content creators to monetize their work without the need to create complex payments systems for their websites.
Some popular names using the site are Deca, Let’s Make Mistakes, Maura Magazine, Offbeat Empire, Radio Silence, Scratch Magazine and Wine for Normal People.