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WordPress owner Automattic has acquired the all-in-one chat platform Beeper. Beeper allows users to chat across networks such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Slack, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more from one app.

It is not Automattic’s first acquisition of a messaging service. Last October, the company acquired messaging app Texts.com for $50 million (47 million euros). Automattic reports that the teams behind both chat services will be merged and continue under the Beeper brand name. Eric Migicovsky, until now CEO of Beeper, will lead the newly formed team as head of Messaging.

The acquisition is part of Automattic’s strategy to build a portfolio of online services outside the strongholds of big players such as Google and Meta. Beeper will become part of Automattic’s ‘Other Bets’ division and remain independent, Eric Migicovsky reported in a blog post. The service is currently free, though users can purchase premium features such as using multiple accounts for the same service.

Beeper available for download now

Although the exact acquisition price is unknown, co-owner Matt Mullenweg of Automattic was already involved with Beeper as an investor. Until now, the service was in a closed testing phase, with over a hundred thousand users providing feedback to improve the technology and interface. With the acquisition, Beeper opened its doors to everyone, and interested parties can download the app for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, ChromeOS, and Android.

The chat app is based on the open and decentralized Matrix protocol. Although Beeper does not support Apple’s iMessage, this may change as U.S. regulators investigate whether Apple should open its protocol to third parties. In addition, Apple is going to support Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging protocol, which allows iOS and Android users to chat with each other.

Also read: WordPress in negotiations with OpenAI and Midjourney over AI deal