The team from Tugboat Yards, a start-up that creates tools to help media publishers “grow, manage, monetise and retain audience,” is to join Facebook, with the social networking giant planning to shut down the service and get its new headcount working on “media products such as news and video.”
Facebook was keen to point out the deal is an “acqui-hire” for talent acquisition purposes, rather than a standard acquisition involving the usual set of assets such as brand, staff, products and services.
“Our initial reason for starting Tugboat – that there was a missing audience management platform for small to medium publishers – remains valid three years later,” the startup said in a blog post, adding that it will be able to solve these problems “with a much broader scope” at Facebook, although it did not disclose further terms of the deal.
Tugboat will stop accepting purchases and renewing subscriptions on July 1, while publisher account creation has already been shut down.
Tugboat, set up in 2012 and based in San Francisco, helped those who created content like podcasts and magazines to receive payments without having to build complicated payment systems on their websites.
As an alternative to Tugboat, the company recommended users to consider simliar services like Memberful, TinyPass and Patreon “as a starting point”.