Twitter Hires Lightwell Team To Work On Conversations Initiative

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 21, 2019
  • Twitter has announced that it has hired the team behind Lightwell. And the Lightwell team will work on Twitter’s conversations initiative.

Twitter has announced that it has hired the team behind Lightwell, which is an app creation engine company that was launched by Hullabalu in 2017. The terms of the deal were undisclosed. And the Lightwell team said that it is going to be working on Twitter’s conversations initiative.

As part of the acquisition, Lightwell’s toolset will now be made free. Plus users will not have to log in or create an account. With the platform, designers can create layouts and animations. And developers can use design files as native UIKit objects with the Lightwell iOS SDK. Layers can be imported from Sketch, Figma, or Photoshop. And when you are ready to move from prototype to production, then you can export to developer-ready assets and files.

The published apps built with Lightwell will not be affected. Unfortunately, the company is no longer supporting or adding new features to Lightwell.

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Twitter is currently testing out a new conversation format in a private app called Twittr, which makes replies larger and hides inappropriate contents. Plus the replies are nested and color-coded. It seems likely that the Lightwell team members will likely focus on this initiative and then roll out some of the best features from the test platform to the broader public.

Hullabalu had developed Lightwell software for creating a series for children called “The Adventures of Pan,” which had become a top seller in over 38 countries and hit millions of downloads. Using Lightwell, designers can create and publish animations across devices without requiring developers to recreate it in Apple’s Xcode.

And Hullabalu CEO Suzanne Xie is going to become the director of product leading Twitter’s Conversations. And the rest of the four-person team are also joining. Twitter’s director of product management Sara Haider — who was previously working on Twitter conversations — will be switching to a different role.

“Excited to announce that @suzannexie and the amazing team behind @lightwellpro are joining Twitter! Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation, and Suzanne will lead our work to make it easier to start and participate in that conversation here on Twitter,” wrote Twitter VP of Product Keith Coleman in a tweet. Twitter also recently hired Angela Wise (from Waymo) and Tom Hauburger (from Voyage).

According to VentureBeat, Hullabalu raised $6.5 million from SV Angel, Vayner RSE (Gary Vaynerchuk and Stephen Ross), Initialized Capital, Technicolor along with individual investors like Joanne Wilson, Scott Belsky, Carmelo Anthony, and Nas.