Can’t they please just let us have this one thing?
This was the thought that came to mind last week, when Twitter announced its acquisition of the newsletter platform Revue, and when three sources told The New York Times that Facebook is planning its own newsletter tools for journalists and writers.
For Twitter and Facebook, getting into the newsletter business makes sense. Alongside Google, their platforms have come to dominate the distribution of journalism and online discourse in general, using their news feeds and search results to monetize a never-ending flow of content. With newsletters, a growing number of writers are trying to get off that treadmill and establish a more direct relationship with readers. Some prominent journalists have even quit their staff jobs to make newsletters full-time, and some budding newsrooms now publish primarily to readers’ inboxes.