Twitter buys news app Brief and plans to close it at the end of the month

Twitter (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Twitter has bought Brief, a news app for iPhone.
  • Brief says the app will be going away at the end of the month.

Popular news app Brief has been bought by Twitter, its developers have confirmed. Brief will be closing its doors at the end of the month as part of the deal.

Announced by Brief co-founders Nick Hobbs and Andrea Huey, the news will be hugely disappointing to those who have been enjoying its service — one that brought brief, curated news snippets to iPhones via its app.

We're excited to announce that Brief is joining Twitter! Our team has always been inspired by Twitter's mission to improve public conversation, and we can't wait to work with the kind, brilliant folks we've met there. Together, we'll do great things.

The pair confirmed that the company's app will be going away on July 31, with all subscriptions now canceled. Anyone who paid for an annual subscription can also receive a refund for the time they won't be able to use Brief, with instructions provided.

It isn't yet clear what Twitter intends to do with Brief, but the social media giant has long tried to be more than somewhere people go to share 280-character messages. It sees itself as a news company of sorts, and that's why the purchase of Brief does make sense — though that won't be any comfort to those who are losing another great app to the hands of Twitter. Nuzzel also recently went the same way, too.

Whatever Brief ends up turning into within Twitter, it will likely only be available to people who use the official Twitter app — an app that few would say is the best iPhone app for reading tweets.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.