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Facebook is making a high-profile push into content publishing because every second you spend on another website reading an article is one fewer second you’re spending looking at ads.
Facebook’s latest acqui-hire may offer one more sign about its growing ambitions. Tugboat Yards, a Half Moon Bay, California-based startup that provides tools for small and medium-sized web publishers to accept payments from their readers, is shutting down and “joining” Facebook, it announced on its blog on Tuesday.
“It is with lots of excitement and a dash of melancholy that we announce that Tugboat will be shutting down on June 30, 2015 and we will be joining the Facebook product team to work on media products such as news and video,” Tugboat CEO and co-founder Andrew Anker wrote in the post.
Tugboat Yards, founded in 2012, was the brainchild of Anker and co-founder Brad Whittaker, both of whom used to work at Six Apart — the company that used to own LiveJournal and is now best known as the developer of the popular TypePad blog hosting service.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the move is not an acquisition and that Anker is the sole member of the Tugboat team that will be joining Facebook, but declined to provide comment beyond that.
Anker’s expertise could fit well with Facebook’s publishing ambitions.
Accepting payments from readers is a growing business — it enables independent content creators (corporate-speak for writers and video producers) to turn their passions or interests into a career, or at least a lucrative side-job.
Integrating that technology into Facebook’s growing news platform would open the doors wider and make it a more attractive place for people to host their writing and videos, outside of those mainstream media institutions like the New York Times and Buzzfeed that have already signed deals with Facebook.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider. Copyright 2014
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