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Beeper built the universal messaging app the world needed

It's an app for all your social apps. And part of an entirely new way to think about chat.

Beeper is an app for all your messaging apps, including the hard-to-access ones.

Image: Beeper

Eric Migicovsky likes to tinker. And the former CEO of Pebble — he's now a partner at Y Combinator — knows a thing or two about messaging. "You remember on the Pebble," he asked me, "how we had this microphone, and on Android you could reply to all kinds of messages?" Migicovsky liked that feature, and he especially liked that it didn't care which app you used. Android-using Pebble wearers could speak their replies to texts, Messenger chats, almost any notification that popped up.

That kind of universal, non-siloed approach to messaging appealed to Migicovsky, and it didn't really exist anywhere else. "Remember Trillian from back in the day?" he asked, somewhat wistfully. "Or Adium?" They were the gold-standard of universal messaging apps; users could log in to their AIM, MSN, GChat and Yahoo accounts, and chat with everyone in one place.

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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.

People

Substack’s CEO explains why we’re all obsessed with newsletters now

And why he thinks his VC-backed platform can avoid making some of the judgment calls that Facebook and Twitter are currently wrestling with.

Substack cofounders Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best (its CEO) and Jairaj Sethi beleive newsletters represent a fundamental shift in the media ecosystem.

Image: Substack

If it seems like everyone is launching a newsletter these days, well, you're not wrong. Chris Best, CEO and founder of the newsletter platform Substack, said readership and writership has doubled there in the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of it is that people currently have more time on their hands: They're finally getting around to reading more or starting the writing projects they put off. But there's also an increasing wave of writers and particularly journalists — such as former BuzzFeed reporter Alex Kantrowitz, former Protocol reporter Levi Sumagaysay and even The Wall Street Journal — who are launching newsletters and building their own audiences on Substack.

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Biz Carson

Biz Carson ( @bizcarson) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol, covering Silicon Valley with a focus on startups and venture capital. Previously, she reported for Forbes and was co-editor of Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups list. Before that, she worked for Business Insider, Gigaom, and Wired and started her career as a newspaper designer for Gannett.

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