Post News, an alternative to Twitter, is funded by a16z

If it seems like the Post News took off overnight, that’s because it kind of did. Unlike Mastodon, Hive Social or other existing social networks that were flooded with disgruntled Twitter users, Post News emerged two weeks ago. The platform was in rapid live beta because its team wanted to go public at a time when the chaos of Elon Musk’s Twitter leadership was at the center of our collective space.

Post News has some similar basic features to Twitter: you post, like and repost other people’s posts, follow interesting accounts. Still, in beta, it still lacks basic features like DMs, a native app, and accessibility features like adding alt text to images (and to the concern of some users, the company said it’s not currently prioritizing accessibility).

The Post News is trying to capitalize on Twitter’s “virtual water cooler for journalists.” The platform describes itself as a place to access “premium news content without subscriptions or ads.” News publishers and freelance writers are encouraged to share their articles on Post News under a paywall. The idea is that this would allow users to pay for individual articles from different news sources. It is an alternative or supplement to paying individual subscriptions to certain news sources.

“I believe the newspaper of the future is the resource, and I want to make it more civilized for users, more profitable for publishers and better for society,” Post News founder Noam Bardin wrote in a tweet portends a feat. Bardin previously served as CEO of Waze from 2009 to 2021.

Profile on Post News

As of Monday, Post News has about 335,000 users on its waiting list, according to Bardin, while about 65,000 accounts have been activated. (We drop users slowly so as not to overload the platform’s operations and moderation capabilities). The platform has already secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Scott Galloway, an NYU professor and tech commentator. Silicon Valley journalist Kara Swisher said she is an adviser to the company, but not an investor.

A16z is an interesting choice for an investor in a Twitter alternative, given that the venture capital firm contributed $400 million to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Sriram Krishnan, crypto investor at a16z, was too they work closely together with Musk at Twitter headquarters. But Bardin said he chose to work with a16z simply because they were the fastest investor to make the decision and cash the check.

“I don’t think that means I’m a fan of crypto [a16z] should fund some of the personalities they have funded recently or that I agree with every statement they make,” Bardin wrote on his Post News account on Sunday. “We have discussed the investment in Twitter at the highest level and I can assure you that this is not an issue – the Post is separate from the people who work at Twitter and there is a clear line.”

Root Devices has reached out to Bardin and a16z for comment.

The Post News’ goals are ambitious. Not only is the platform trying to compete with a long-time social media incumbent, but its business model relies on digital news publishers opting for their model of charging readers per article rather than subscription. Additionally, the platform is growing rapidly while still developing key security features, which makes things somewhat uncertain.

“I want to remind everyone that this is super early beta and not for everyone,” Bardin wrote on Monday. “People looking for a polished product will have to wait. It’s okay to take a break and come back when things are in production – betas aren’t for everyone.”

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