We’re excited to share some big news today — Sphere has been acquired by Twitter! We’ve joined to accelerate our mission of bringing people closer together through community.
It’s been a long and exciting journey to this point. Like many startups, Sphere started with a very different mission — to help anyone find and share knowledge instantly through the creation of a “global brain”. We originally built a marketplace of paid experts from all around the world, connecting them through group chat. What we realised is that some of the most helpful and knowledgeable conversations came from groups where members felt a strong sense of belonging to one another. In other words, at the heart of our challenge was helping every single person find their community.
The opportunity is massive. All groups have the potential to become genuine communities. But most groups suffer from problems in online communication that prevent community-building — things like awkward silences, conversations going off topic, and vitriol. However, we learned over the past two years that a group can transform into a community if its members feel their participation is welcomed.
This is what we’ve focused on in our product. Our feed automatically clears out old or irrelevant chats to prevent groups from feeling chaotic. Our chats call out essential messages (like polls, events, and announcements) and make it more likely for people to respond. Our custom appreciations encourage people to express genuine gratitude. By welcoming participation, we learned groups can become more productive, vibrant, purposeful, and close. Our work has always been guided by the belief that creating an online space where meaningful conversations can flourish is one of the most worthwhile challenges of our time. This was just the beginning, and the plan was to double down on delivering this over the next few years to as many groups as possible.
That’s what brought us to Twitter.
There are only a few companies today who believe in this vision and are in a position to make meaningful progress towards it. Much like others, we’ve been watching and admiring Twitter’s growing investment in community-building with the release of Communities, Spaces, and features that promote safety. When we met the team, we were even more impressed by how seriously they are pursuing interest-based community and how much they believe in its potential impact.
Today’s announcement means we have the opportunity to take what we’ve learned at Sphere and bring our efforts to a whole new level. While we’ll be winding down our standalone product next month, we’re excited for our team of 20 to continue onwards within the Communities, Direct Messages, and Creators initiatives at Twitter. We can’t think of a better home for this work and are beyond excited to get started.
We want to thank all of the people who made Sphere a special place — our customers, advisors, investors, and friends. If you have questions, please feel free to email.
Keep an eye out for our continued work on Communities, Direct Messages, Creators and Tweets at Twitter 👀
From Nick, Tomas and the entire Sphere team, thank you! ❤️