Twitter buys local discovery app Spindle with plans to launch its own service


Jun 19, 2013 2:23 pm

Skift Take

Twitter is slowly building additional features into the main service, and this new acquisition means it will make its formal entry into a local-travel and discovery sector, and may give a run for the money to other larger startups like Foursquare.

— Rafat Ali

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Twitter, which has been buying small startups with some amount of regularity over the last year or so, has now acquired Spindle, a local discovery and location startup. And as it has done with most of its small acquisitions, it has immediately shut down the service, and is absorbing the team, with an intent to launch local discovery service of its own, as part of the larger Twitter service.

From Spindle’s own blog post about its acquisition:

We’ve spent the past two and a half years building a product that helps you answer the question: “What’s happening nearby right now?” Every time we’ve experimented and looked beyond local discovery, we’ve been amazed by the breadth and quality of content shared on Twitter. By joining forces with Twitter, we can do so much more to help you find interesting, timely, and useful information about what’s happening around you.

Spindle had raised about $2.3 million in funding from investors such as Polaris, Greylock, Lerer, SV Angel and others.

The local discovery app worked by using the social data from Twitter and Facebook to implicitly discover events, happenings and locations around a user, through its app. Presumably with the new service Twitter will launch, it will then use Spindle’s tech and talent to build similar functionalities into either the main Twitter app, or launch a separate Twitter-branded local discovery app.

Disclosure: Lerer Ventures, an investor in Spindle, is also an investor in Skift.

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