Twitter Acqui-Hired the Highly Team to Help It Become More Conversational

The app enables users to highlight key portions of news stories and share them

The team from Highly will join Twitter Highly
Headshot of David Cohen

Just the highlights, please. Twitter’s most recent acqui-hire, Highly, may very well help the social network comply with that request.

The team from Highly, an application that enables its users to highlight key portions of news stories and share those highlights publicly, will join Twitter.

Andrew Courter, who founded Highly in 2014, said in a blog post, “We’re bringing our Highly-inspired perspective to Twitter’s work serving the public conversation. It’s a colossal, critical project, and we’re eager to chip in.”

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the acqui-hire with this statement: “We are excited to welcome the Highly team to Twitter. Their expertise will accelerate our product and design thinking around making Twitter more conversational.”

The Highly app’s Highly Highlighter single-player tool gives users a magic marker-like way to quickly mark highlights on news stories, and its sharing tools enabled those highlights to be shared on social platforms, as well as Slack and iMessage.

Highly also packages publicly shared highlights into Social Summaries, which use the company’s highlight heatmap to create “a Goldilocksian just-right format: much more informative than the headline, and much faster than reading the full story. It’s rich with social context, transparently produced and participatory.”

Courter detailed the fate of Highly’s existing products in his blog post.

Users’ highlight collections will not be deleted and will remain accessible to them.

Its Crowd Control and Highly for Teams offerings, which had been paid products, are now free-of-charge. Existing subscribers will no longer be charged, and no further action is required on their part.

The Highly iOS and Slack apps will be shuttered April 26, and the above statement on users’ highlight collections holds here, as well.

He added that users will be informed via email should further changes occur.

Courter wrote in his blog post, “Social highlights can make sharing stories online feel personal, efficient and alive — like retelling a story to a friend, over coffee. They give people shared context and spark meaningful conversations.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.