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[News] Automattic acquires private journaling app

Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com, has acquired the personal journaling app Day One

Day One is an app that simplifies personal journaling by removing the paper and putting the process on computers and mobile devices. It works on both Android and all devices within the Apple ecosystem, including the Apple Watch. TechCrunch reports that in the ten years since Day One launched in March 2011, it has had over 15 million installs just on Macs and iOS devices alone. 

In its announcement, Automattic notes that “Day One will continue to create beautifully designed and innovative experiences,” and promises that the app’s founder and CEO, Paul Mayne, will remain in charge of the app. And Automattic reiterates that the Day One app will continue to provide all of the same services, including the key point: end-to-end encrypted cloud sync.

Mayne says that the acquisition will ensure the apps longevity. On the Day One blog, he states, “this acquisition will provide Day One access to the same technological, financial, and security benefits that WordPress.com, Tumblr, and other Automattic entities enjoy.”

Despite these reassurances, many of Day One’s users didn’t take the news well. WP Tavern reports that many users  “have never heard of Automattic and they are understandably leery of seeing their beloved app change hands.” After checking out the company’s social media, WP Tavern suggests that the announcement “precipitated a stream of cancellations and exports.”

But is it really bad news for Day One? It’s worth noting that companies don’t always engage in acquisitions simply to control more things or gobble up competitors. It’s possible that Automattic has no intentions to change the app itself, but instead wants to bring the technology behind it into WordPress core. 

As Matt Mullenweg acknowledges on his blog, “Combining encryption and sync in a truly secure way is tricky, but they’ve done it.”

Although time will tell, we are curious to see if this acquisition leads to better security for WordPress itself. And although this is entirely conjecture, perhaps Mullenweg has a vision of developing a technology that could be used across the Internet to protect data as it travels from point to point. Better encryption could make our calendars safer, or our health data traveling between smartwatch and smartphone, or the financial data that we download to our computers. 

As with so many tech stories, this is one worth watching.

In other news

  • A piece of Internet history for sale. Collectible digital art in the form of NFTs hit the news this week as Tim Berners Lee announced his decision to sell his original files on inventing the Internet. Berners Lee was the first to write the HTTP file transfer protocol linking documents across the Internet. His mission—to make a universal system for sharing universal documents—changed the world forever. He never took payment for his invention, instead releasing his code for free. The BBC reports his decision to sell those world-famous 10,000 lines of code now is to support a charity close to himself and his wife’s heart.
  • Meme.com sold for $1.25 Million. Domain names can quickly become a lucrative asset, as the seller of “Meme.com” has discovered. The deal, brokered on Bannons.com, included a confidential transaction for US $1,250,000. Meme.com is now the property of the owners of Marbles.com—a site that displays Internet memes. 
  • DARPA employing streamers to knock out drones. Showing that sometimes things can really be just that simple, DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is developing technology to bring down drones using a more advanced form of a confetti streamer. As Gizmodo describes it, the idea is to shoot “a wad of stringy but strong streamer like material that spreads out as it travels through the air” which will then tangle up in the enemy drone and cause it to fall to the ground. Maybe their next step will be to enlist kite-eating trees in the war against drones?

Tip of the week

In light of the gigantic price for Meme.com, it’s worth pausing to consider domain investing. 

Unlike some forms of financial investments, domain investing is something anyone can do. If you’ve got an eye for a good name, you could be the next domain tycoon, because anyone can register a domain. To learn more about this form of investing, check out our previous articles on the topic.

And if you’re ready to get started, you’ll need a reputable domain marketplace. Check out Namecheap’s featured domain marketplace. We list a number of previously registered domain names, so you can get an idea of what domains can be worth—and you can get started by purchasing one of them or a brand new domain.

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Jackie Dana avatar

Jackie Dana

Jackie has been writing since childhood. As the Namecheap blog’s content manager and regular contributor, she loves bringing helpful information about technology and business to our customers. In her free time, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of black tea, writing novels, and wrangling a gang of four-legged miscreants. More articles written by Jackie.

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