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WordPress acquires Atavist with hopes to better content on the web


Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and a few other initiatives. Now it has acquired Brooklyn-based startup Atavist. Why Atavist? Well the company has been working on content management system for independent bloggers and writers. With an Atavist website, you can with ease write and publish content with a ton of media. One might see that this isn’t particularly interesting as anyone can create a website on WordPress.com or Squarespace and do the same thing. But the thing about this is that it lets you create a paywall and build a subscription base. Many people don’t want to be bothered with the technical details of running a website.

That’s why Atavist gives them the tools so that they can focus on their work instead.

Atavist also has a publication called Atavist Magazine. The publication is also merging with Automattic. It’s unclear if it’s going to be part of Longreads or remain independent. The CMS itself won’t be a part. Automattic said that the publishing platform will be made a part of WordPress.

While WordPress is probably a much more strong CMS than Atavist, it could hint that Automattic wants to start offering subscriptions and paywalls. You can imagine WordPress.com websites that offer monthly subscriptions locally. 30 percent of the web runs on WordPress. Many of them are open source page of WordPress hosted on their own servers.

Subscriptions on WordPress.com is good news for the web content niche. Medium abruptly canceled its subscription program leaving many independent publications in the dust. So it’s hard to trust Medium when it comes to providing enough revenue to independent writers.

Automattic could create a seamless portal to manage subscriptions to multiple publications. And this could lead to less advertising and better content.

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Image via TNW