Twitter acquires screen-sharing app Squad

On December 12, 2020, Twitter announced that they would be acquiring Squad and that the team behind the app will be joining Twitter’s team. Now, you might be wondering- what exactly is Squad? What can the app do, and why would a social media giant like Twitter want to acquire it?

The new coronavirus pandemic has certainly put a damper on our plans to hang out with our friends, and we have been forced to find new ways to spend time with the ones we love. Virtual hangouts are one such option, and millions of users across the globe have been utilizing video tools to help them communicate with their loved ones. (Read: Twitter to be slapped with $250 million fine in latest privacy breach)

Squad is a free app that allows friends to share their screens for an unlimited amount of time. When the app was launched back in 2019, it was initially only available for iPhones, iPod touch, and iPads, but it soon became available for Android devices.

By using the app, people could then have movie nights with their friends and have watch parties by streaming the same content on their respective devices. They could also chat or video chat simultaneously while streaming. Pretty nifty, eh? To prove the app’s effectiveness during this time, then-CEO Esther Crawford announced to TechCrunch that the usage of Squad skyrocketed by roughly 1,100% when the new coronavirus pandemic once hit.

However, it is not the actual Squad app that will be coming into Twitter. The app itself shut down on December 12, 2020, which took its userbase by surprise. If you check out the app’s old website, you would immediately see a bittersweet message left behind by the company’s then-CEO, Esther Crawford, thanking Squad’s customers for their support and expressing her excitement “to build the future on Twitter”.

Apart from Twitter’s official acquisition of the app, all we know is that Squad’s co-founders, Crawford, the app’s CTO, Ethan Sutin, and the rest of the team behind Squad will be joining Twitter’s engineering, design, and product teams. Crawford also said that she is going to be in charge of developing a product meant to enhance conversations on Twitter. Other than that, Twitter has not released any more information on what this new partnership with Squad’s team would mean and what it would do for Twitter’s platform.

We can speculate that Squad’s functionality would fit in with the services that Twitter has to offer, but there has been no confirmation yet on whether or not any of the company’s tech would be part of the acquisition. Historically, Twitter has turned away from keeping separate apps up and running apart from the core Twitter app. But should they push through with adopting Squad’s technology, it would be interesting to see how they integrate it into Twitter’s core app.

Squad was known for working closely with Snap, the company behind Snapchat, and it utilized many of Snap’s Snap Kit developer tools during the development of Squad. This may prove to make the integration of Squad’s tech into Twitter more complicated, but we will have to wait and see.

This is what Esther Crawford had to say in her post on Medium: “I’ve learned a lot about the tech industry and made countless connections over the years on Twitter and so it feels really full-circle and perfect to be landing the plane there. I’m excited to continue leading a product in the conversations space and I hope that what we build makes the Internet a better place for everyone.”

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Misha Fabian

Athlete | Performer | Writer

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