Is “Twitter Stories” on the way? Or will we just get tools to send prettier tweets? Well now Twitter has the talent for both as it’s just acquired Chroma Labs. Co-founded by Instagram Boomerang inventor John Barnett, Chroma Labs’ Chroma Stories app let you fill in stylish layout templates and frames for posting collages and more to Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and more.
Chroma Labs was launched last fall with an app that lets people edit photos and videos before sharing them on the Stories features inside other apps, like Instagram or Snap Inc.’s Snapchat. The company is joining Twitter to “give people more creative ways to express themselves in conversations,” said Twitter’s head of product, Kayvon Beykpour, in a tweet.
John Barnett, Alex Li and Joshua Harris, Chroma Labs co-founders, worked on products at Facebook Inc. before setting out on their own to build a company around creative editing tools. While at Facebook, the group’s members were involved in projects such as Instagram Stories, augmented-reality camera effects and Oculus virtual-reality headsets. Early investors in the San Mateo, California-based startup include Index Ventures, Sweet Capital and Combine VC.
Twitter has said that improving conversations on the social-media service is a top priority. In recent weeks, the San Francisco-based company has changed the way some user interactions appear in the app and has added the ability to respond to direct messages with emojis. Twitter hasn’t unveiled a Stories-like product for disappearing posts, though it introduced some camera features like tags and labels last year.
“[We] built Chroma Labs and many successful products together to inspire creativity and help people tell their visual stories,” Barnett said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing this mission at a larger scale with one of the most important services in the world.” Twitter has become the world’s public record for words. The Chroma Labs talent might make it the real-time gallery for art and design as well.