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Bulletins

Alloy, the Reid Hoffman-backed Democratic data firm, is shutting down

The company broke the news in an email to its partners Monday, according to Recode. The decision to shut down follows a tumultuous two years for the company, which was backed by $35 million in funding from both Hoffman and former United States chief technology officer Todd Park.


Alloy set out to reinvent Democrats' data operations, but ended up being rejected by the Democratic National Committee and other leading Democratic organizations amid competing efforts within the party and concerns about the accuracy of Alloy's data. The company instead carved out a niche, focusing on data related to unregistered voters. In an interview with Protocol this fall, Alloy CEO and co-founder Haley Van Dyck acknowledged that Alloy's future was uncertain. "There's going to be a lot of reshuffling after the election and a lot of unknowns for what will happen for the whole ecosystem," Van Dyck said at the time.

In the email to partners, Alloy said it would continue operating some of its tools through January 2021. Alloy's communications director did not immediately respond to Protocol's request for comment.

Read more: Protocol's investigation into Alloy's evolution.

Twitter’s future is newsletters and podcasts, not tweets

With Revue and a slew of other new products, Twitter is trying hard to move past texting.

We started with 140 characters. What now?

Image: Liv Iko/Protocol

Twitter was once a home for 140-character missives about your lunch. Now, it's something like the real-time nerve center of the internet. But as for what Twitter wants to be going forward? It's slightly more complicated.

In just the last few months, Twitter has rolled out Fleets, a Stories-like feature; started testing an audio-only experience called Spaces; and acquired the podcast app Breaker and the video chat app Squad. And on Tuesday, Twitter announced it was acquiring Revue, a newsletter platform. The whole 140-characters thing (which is now 280 characters, by the way) is certainly not Twitter's organizing principle anymore. So what is?

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

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