Beeper acquired by Automattic to build a messaging super-app

Mike Powers
Beeper acquired by Automattic to build a messaging super-app


Remember Beeper? It was in the news recently for trying to integrate its Android app with iMessage before Apple made the process such an unsafe nightmare that the company abandoned the plan. Well, Beeper is back with a new plan: Becoming a messaging super-app.

Today, Beeper announced that it has been acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, Tumblr, Pocket Casts, Jetpack, Day One, and a slew of other apps and services. According to both companies, the plan is to build a safe, secure, and all-in-one messaging super-app.

Eric Migicovsky, the former CEO of Beeper and now Automattic Head of Messaging, said in a statement “Automattic has a long history of putting user control and privacy first with open source, and great bilateral relationships with Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Matrix, and others that we hope can usher in a new era of collaboration.”

This is a big bet. Automattic is doubling down on chat after their acquisition last year of Texts.com, a messaging app with a similar mission. Our teams and products will merge, and I will take on the role leading the team as Head of Messaging. It will take a bit of time for us to integrate and combine forces under the Beeper brand. We’ve got big plans! I’m really excited about the future of chat 📟

In a statement, Automattic said, “Our core belief is that communication is a fundamental human right; it should be accessible, encrypted, and open source where possible. Merging Texts with Beeper is our next step toward the dream of combining all online conversations in a safe, secure, and effective way. Both teams have already built best-in-class messaging apps; now, we’re confident that by joining forces, they’ll bring even more people back to the promise of the open web.”

In addition to the acquisition, Beeper announced that its Android app is now officially out of beta and that anyone can now sign up for the app — no longer do you need to sit on a waitlist. Automattic will also be bringing the Texts team under the Beeper brand and integrating the two brand’s technologies. If you’ve never heard of Beeper, here is a quick overview of the features:

  • One chat app to rule them all. Send and receive messages on 14 different chat networks.
  • Stay on top of your chats with a universal inbox. One place to check and chat with all your friends.
  • Search instantly across your entire digital history. Find a friend’s address they sent you, or their spouse’s name, in a snap.
  • Plus, simple obvious features that chat apps should have had years ago, like auto-copying 2FA codes, scheduling messages, archiving, folders, and a fantastic desktop experience.

They’re not kidding about being able to message across 10+ chat networks in one app. The Beeper app supports integration with Slack, Signal, Whatsapp, Telegram, Discord, LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, Google Chat, and SMS on Android.

The company is even optimistic about its ability to work more closely with iMessage in the future. Migicovsky points to the FCC investigation and other lawsuits from the U.S. government against Apple’s control of iMessage. He also pointed to Apple’s commitment to RCS, which the Beeper app already supports.

Beeper could build a super-app faster than X

With all of the social media and messaging services out there today, Beeper is definitely solving a pain point for users by making it easy to handle all of your messaging in one place. If it can scale using the resources that Automattic has, it really has the potential to take off as the go-to messaging app for a ton of people.

In that way, I wonder if Beeper could turn into the communication super-app that other social media companies like X (formerly known as Twitter) want to be. While other apps like X try to become the super-app by combining a range of different things like text, photos, video, payments, calls, games, or whatever, but Beeper might have a better way of getting there — one app for all your communication.

Twitter adding new audio and video call features
Video calls on X (formerly known as Twitter). Image source: Twitter

Of course, that opens up privacy concerns if one app has all of your communication across 10+ networks, but it seems that Beeper and Automattic aren’t interested in digging through your messages to serve you ads or anything — not surprising since that doesn’t seem like anything Automattic has ever been interested in. So maybe a messaging super-app could also be a private super-app?

We’ll have to see what happens once the Beeper and Text teams start to actually integrate their teams and services together, but there’s a chance for a spark here. Convenience means a lot, so I can see a future where a lot of people use an app like this instead of jumping between everything else. This is another solid acquisition for Automattic.



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