Facebook Acqui-Hires Publishing Startup Tugboat Yards

Facebook’s focus on publishers spurred its latest acquisition, as Tugboat Yards, a startup specializing in publishing tools, announced that it has been acqui-hired by the social network.

Facebook’s focus on publishers spurred its latest acquisition, as Tugboat Yards, a startup specializing in publishing tools, announced that it has been acqui-hired by the social network.

Tugboat Yards said in a blog post that its team will join the product team at Facebook to work on “media products, such as news and video,” and the company provided the following schedule for its shutdown:

  • May 19: New publisher account creation was disabled.
  • Through June 30: Existing users can still create new accounts to complete purchases, and existing subscriptions will continue to be renewed until this date.
  • July 1: All new account creation, payment activity and subscription renewals will cease.
  • July 15: Tugboat Yards will shut down for good.

VentureBeat reported that current users of Tugboat Yards include Deca, Let’s Make Mistakes, Maura Magazine, Offbeat Empire, Radio Silence, Scratch and Wine for Normal People, and Tugboat Yards suggested Memberful, TinyPass and Patreon as alternatives in its blog post.

The company explained its decision as follows:

It is with lots of excitement and a dash of melancholy that we announce that Tugboat will be shutting down June 30 and we will be joining the Facebook product team to work on media products such as news and video. Our initial reason for starting Tugboat — that there was a missing audience-management platform for small to medium publishers — remains valid three years later. We are excited by the opportunity to work on solving these problems with a much broader scope at Facebook.

Readers: What do you think of Facebook’s newest acqui-hire?