Everyone now knows that Facebook is seeking to become a content hub — one that keeps members on site with things like “instant articles” that load without leaving Facebook’s site.
Now Facebook has “acqui-hired” Tugboat Yards, a supplier of the tools that allow web publishers to accept payments from their readers.
The news came via a recent blog post from Tugboat CEO and co-founder Andrew Anker, who both celebrated the Facebook hook-up and lamented the change wrought by an exclusive with Facebook.
“We will also admit to a tiny bit of sadness in making this announcement,” Anker admitted. “We have worked with many amazing bloggers, podcasters, mailing list writers, and app developers in our short three years. It has been a wonderful experience and hopefully we helped to push our industry forward just a little.”
Tugboat is letting current client contracts expire, and is referring them to services including Memberful, TinyPass, and Patreon for their future needs.
Tugboat was a small, 5-person team and Anker is the only member of the team who will officially join Facebook.
“Given Anker’s experience at Tugboat, giving publishers a way to make money, including through a subscription model, the ability to sell merchandise, raising a crowdfunding campaign or putting out a tip jar, it will be interesting to see if Facebook might implement a similar type of solution onto its own site,” noted ValorTV. “Facebook is obviously trying to actively recruit publishers onto the site, and these types of features would be an extra incentive to join.”
It’s the latest in a number of Facebook acquisitions in the past few years. the platform’s acquisitions included 10 in 2013 and eight in 2014. This is Facebook’s fourth acquisition in 2015, about on par with last year.