The Breaker app will shut down Friday, Jan. 15
By David Cohen
20 mins ago
Twitter continues to turn to acquisitions to help improve the quality and functionality of conversations on its platform, reaching a deal to buy podcast listening application Breaker.
The move follows the social network’s acquisition last month of Squad, an app that enables users to share text, video and their screens.
The Breaker team—CEO Erik Berlin, chief technology officer Leah Culver and head of design Emma Lundin—will join Twitter, and the Breaker app will shut down Friday, Jan. 15.
Twitter vice president of engineering Michael Montano said in a tweet, “Breaker is a community-focused podcast app, and Erik, Leah and Emma will share their experiences in the space to improve the health of public conversation on our service. Both Erik and Leah have founded and sold startups previously and will bring an entrepreneurial spirit to our engineering org.”
Culver provided more details in a tweet of her own, specifying that she will focus on Twitter Spaces, the Clubhouse-like audio conversation feature the social network introduced last November and began beta-testing the following month.
Berlin highlighted Breaker’s social elements in a blog post, writing, “When we started Breaker, podcast apps were productivity apps, similar to feed readers and to-do lists. Breaker added a social community element with features such as liking and commenting on episodes. We’re now inspired to go even further in reimagining how we communicate with each other, beyond the scope of traditional podcasts.”
The Twitter-Breaker deal follows Amazon Music’s agreement with Wondery, revealed at the end of last month, bringing Wondery podcasts such as Business Wars, Dirty John, Dr. Death and The Shrink Next Door to Amazon Music, which debuted podcasts last September.
Amazon Music cautioned in its announcement that its deal to acquire Wondery has not yet closed, but when Benjamin Mullin and Anne Steele of The Wall Street Journal reported on talks between the two companies early last December, they noted that Wondery was the last large independent podcaster remaining on the market.
With the impending shutdown of Breaker, Berlin said in his blog post that users could go to the settings in their apps and export their subscription lists to other podcast listening apps, suggesting Apple, Castro, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Stitcher as possible alternatives.
He added that users currently hosting their podcasts on Breaker can transfer them to other hosting services via the RSS feed link on the app’s distribution tab, offering up Anchor, Simplecast and Transistor as potential destinations.