Shopify acquires Threads (no, not that one)

Shopify acquires Threads (no, not that one)

Shopify has acquired Threads.com, the Seqiuoa-backed Slack alternative, Threads said on its website. The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the deal but said that the Threads.com team will join Shopify.

Threads added that after the launch of Meta’s social network with the same name last year, the startup had “the opportunity to sell our domains.” It is not clear if the startup sold the domain name to Meta, Shopify, or anyone else, but the note does indicate that it would have had to rebrand from Threads had it remained independent. We have reached out to all these companies, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

Threads.com launched its product from stealth in 2019 with $10.5 million in funding. It was thrown into the limelight after Meta launched Threads, its Twitter-like social network. Notably, Meta also had another product named Threads, an Instagram companion app that started in 2019 and was shut down in 2021.

Threads.com’s team said that while Meta’s social network was on the rise, a few companies approached the startup to acquire it. Eventually, it chose Shopify, it said, for the opportunity “to tinker at scale”.

“Around the same time [when Threads.com was considering selling the domain], a handful of companies approached us, wondering if we would be open to an acquisition. When this happened in the past, we would politely decline. However, this time, things were different,” the company said in the post. “We weren’t that excited about the time it would take to invest in a rebrand, and with mind-warping technological advances now being a commodity, we were excited about joining a place where we could tinker at scale.”

Last year, Meta opted to use Threads.net because Threads, the business communication startup, already owned Threads.com. However, many customers still visited the .com website and even downloaded the startup’s app before realizing it wasn’t the social network they were looking for.

According to data from analytics firm data.ai at the time, Threads.com’s app saw 880,000 downloads globally on iOS alone between July 6 and July 12. And on Android the app crossed the mark of a million lifetime downloads with just a few downloads prior to Meta launching its Threads social network.

“Threads is a powerful word and an internet native term,” Threads co-founder and CEO Rousseau Kazi, who worked at Facebook for six years, said in a statement issued to TechCrunch last year.

“Using threads — on various platforms — is the best way to stay connected with your [.net]work or [.com]pany. Given this, it comes as no surprise that Meta chose a powerful label to represent their take at building the town square.”

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke welcomed Kazi and his team but didn’t expand on how it plans to integrate the product within Shopify.