In an email to TechCrunch, Longreads founder and CEO Mark Armstrong (pictured here) said that the Longreads service will continue to function exactly as it did before the acquisition. Joining Automattic, he said in a company blog post announcing the deal, will give his team the resources they need to continue to scale their product offering:
“Our team has always been small — Longreads is Mike Dang, Kjell Reigstad, Hakan Bakkalbasi, Julia Wick, Joyce King Thomas and me — and we’ve known that, to make good on our original vision, we’d need more help, from the community and from like-minded partners.
…We see a huge opportunity to go deeper with our mission, both through Longreads and WordPress.com—to find undiscovered talent, to celebrate the work of writers and publishers you already love, and bring even more of the best storytelling onto the Internet. The WordPress.com editorial team is growing, and we’re excited to now be a part of it.”
Longreads, which was founded five years ago as a simple service that shared curated links to long-form content, has never taken on outside venture funding. The service has expanded and sustained itself through an optional paid membership model, where dedicated users have paid $30 a year for access to premium Longreads features.
The membership model will continue to be available post-acquisition, Armstrong said in his blog post today: “If you are a Longreads Member, your generous contributions will continue to go toward our editorial budget, to ensure we can bring more stories to this community.”