As it seems Post news launched overnight, that’s because it pretty much did. Unlike Mastodon, Hive Social, or other existing social networks that are flooded with disgruntled Twitter users, Post News emerged two weeks ago. The platform was collapsed a live beta, as the team wanted to go public at a time when the chaos of Elon Musk’s Twitter leadership was at the center of our collective headspace.
Post News has some basic functions similar to Twitter: you post messages, you like and repost other people’s messages, you follow interesting accounts. But in beta, it still lacks basic features like DMs, a native app, and accessibility features like adding alt text to images (and, worrying some users, the company said it not prioritizing accessibility currently).
Post News is trying to capitalize on the “virtual water cooler for journalists” side of Twitter. The platform describes itself as a place to access “premium news content with no subscriptions or ads.” News publishers and independent writers are encouraged to share their articles on Post News under a paywall. The idea is that this will allow users to pay for individual articles from different news sources. It is an alternative or supplement to paying for individual subscriptions to specific news sources.
“I believe the future newspaper is the feed and I want to make it more civic for users, more profitable for publishers and better for society,” Post News founder Noam Bardin wrote in a statement. tweet announcement of the goal. Bardin was CEO of Waze between 2009 and 2021.
As of Monday, Post News has approx 335,000 users are on the waiting list, according to Bardin, while about 65,000 accounts have been activated. (Users are let in slowly so as not to overload the platform’s operations and moderation capabilities). The platform already has secured an undisclosed amount of money from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), as well as Scott Galloway, an NYU professor and technical commentator. Silicon Valley journalist Kara Swisher said she is an advisor to the company, but is not an investor.
A16z is a curious choice for a Twitter alternative investor as the venture capital firm has contributed $400 million Musk’s takeover of Twitter. So has Sriram Krishnan, a crypto investor at a16z to work together closely with Musk at Twitter HQ. But Bardin said that he chose to partner with a16z simply because they were the quickest investor to make a decision and write a check.
“This doesn’t mean I’m a Crypto fan I guess [a16z] some of the personalities they’ve been funding lately should have been funding or I agree with every statement of theirs,” Bardin wrote on his Post News account on Sunday. “We’ve discussed the Twitter investment at the highest level and I can assure you it’s not a big deal – Post has been separated from the people involved in Twitter and a clear line has been drawn.”
australiabusinessblog.com reached out to Bardin and a16z for comment.
Post News’ goals are ambitious. Not only is the platform trying to compete with an old social media mainstay, but its business model also relies on digital news publishers opting to charge readers per article rather than subscription. In addition, the platform is growing rapidly while still building out key security features, which makes things a bit precarious.
“I just want to remind everyone that this is a super early beta and it may not be for everyone,” Bardin wrote Monday. “People looking for a polished product will have to wait. It’s okay to take a break and come back when things are at production level – betas aren’t for everyone.