Twitter acquires Yes, Inc. to better connect people around events
Twitter has acquired the app maker Yes in a move designed to encourage its users to get better acquainted with each other around events. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but as a result, Yes’ apps, Frenzy and WYD, are being shuttered “in the coming weeks.”
“Our team has always admired Twitter, a product that brings the whole world closer. From elections to revolutions, olympics to arts, it connects people across the globe around the events that are happening right now. Twitter also speaks to our love of working at a global scale,” the company remarked in a blog post announcing the move.
Yes was started by Keith Coleman, a former director of product management at Google, in 2014, with a mission to develop apps that would connect people both in real life and from afar. If their technology proved solid, it would certainly be synergistic with what Twitter has tried to do, bridging the distance between people to have conversations about particular topics and events, including sports, politics, and various other worldly issues.
Among its products include Frenzy, a way to quickly make plans with your friends, similar to what Highlight, Swarm, Facebook, and other location-based and social apps have been seeking to do for some time. The goal was to help you plan an event in seconds, provide tools to gain critical mass, and facilitate conversation — sounds like something that might be amusing to some on Twitter (of course there are bigger issues for the company to solve, to be quite honest). Other apps are WYD, which highlights the photos and video statuses of your friends; Let’s Play, which helps coordinate playdates; and Heyo, which lets you see who’s free right now to do something.
It’s unclear if everyone at Yes will be joining the company, but Coleman has been named as Twitter’s vice president of product — a position for which he’s qualified, having previously been the product lead for Gmail, Inbox, Gchat, and other services at Google for more than a decade. He’ll be the most recent product lead at Twitter, replacing Kevin Weil, who departed after five years to join Instagram.
All Yes apps will be shuttered in the next few weeks, so it’s likely that the acquisition is to bring people in to shore up its product team. But there might be an opportunity for Twitter to leverage the really social activities that Yes has worked for and apply the learnings to its service, which seems to have lost its way for a while.
You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t heard of Yes, but there’s obviously something Coleman did that Twitter liked or else the deal wouldn’t have gone through. As an entrepreneur, he likely wanted to test out a theory he had on in real-life social interactions, but the call from Twitter was too appealing.