The owner of WordPress has bought Beeper, the app that flipped the bird to Apple’s iMessage supremacy

WordPress and Tumblr owned by Automattic bought Beeper, the manufacturer Beeper mini program it challenged Apple’s iMessage dominance late last year. Though in the end he lost this battle (after, oh, about three days), the incident was filed by the DOJ more ammo in it antitrust suit Against the iPhone maker. Bloomberg informed On Tuesday, Automattic paid $125 million, a surprisingly high price for a startup.

There is already a program called Automattic Texts accesses the APIs of various chat services for a universal messaging experience. Beeper has essentially the same mission and brand, and the two competitors will combine teams under Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky, who will now join Automattic.

You may also remember Migikovsky as its creator Pebble smart watcha charmingly simple pre-Apple Watch device that helps the main interest increases In wearable technology in the early 2010s. On Tuesday, he he said The New York Times Beeper and Texts will launch a combined service later this year. The two teams will reportedly begin work in two weeks’ time in Portugal.

Tuesday, Migicovsky he wrote In a blog post, the two companies backtracked. “Matt [Mullenweg], CEO of Automattic and I have known each other for years,” he wrote. “He was an early adopter, supporter and investor of Beeper. We are very well aligned with our goal (to build the best chat app on earth), approach (open source where possible) and independence (Biper will operate independently as part of Automattic’s Other Games division).”

Automattic’s purchase price is a bit over the top, given that the Beeper Mini’s claim to fame — iMessage integration on Android — has collapsed after only a few days in the spotlight. Alarm Organized a short demonstration such as the fight for open, secure messaging standards. (It also helped the startup make more of a name for itself.) Apple saw it as a threat to one of its main attractions in its walled garden: the blue bubbles of its iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with features like reactions and higher-resolution images. video sharing.

Another reason to question Automattic’s purchase price is Apple’s plan Bring RCS (rich communication services) support to iPhones later this year. While bubbles remain green among iPhone and Android users, RCS chats replicate much of iMessage’s appeal with a similar feature set, including end-to-end encryption.

Automattic interim executive director Tony Schneider informed about this NYT he sees regulatory trade winds blowing in a more open direction, favoring cross-platform, universal messaging apps like Beeper. Still, it’s my understanding that tapping into the APIs of other services is something that the right coders can easily replicate (including the Texts team that Automattic already has). Perhaps the real main attraction was the Beeper brand it built for itself to take on Apple.

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