I’ve been seeing a lot of Twitter accounts, both regular user accounts as well as brand accounts, using fancy, math and other symbol fonts in their tweets. These characters are all legal, and part of the Unicode standard. Akin to using a screenshot from a notes app in your tweet, we should take a closer …

Are special characters in your tweets breaking accessibility? Read More »

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Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com and many other services like JetPack, WooCommerce and more has received $300 million USD in funding from Salesforce. From TechCrunch:

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce and soon Tumblr, has closed a $300 million funding round at a $3 billion post-money valuation. The Series D round has a single investor, Salesforce Ventures.

First off, congrats at Matt Mullenweg and the Automattic team on this round. That’s a large investment and Salesforce is an interesting, and sole partner in this investment. This will improve services, integrate new acquisitions like Tumblr, and create more jobs. All good things. I’d love someone to invest anything let alone several hundred million dollars in my company.

VentureBeat says this about the deal:

Reading between the lines, it’s not hard to see why Salesforce would invest such a gargantuan sum in a company best known for blogging. WordPress currently powers one-third of the web, which includes everything from small-time bloggers to publishers and online retailers. And several products in Automattic’s arsenal hint at the reasons Salesforce has elected to invest in the company.

What does this mean for you?

The question I’ve been thinking about all morning is this: what does this fundraising mean for those of us who use, develop for, and are deep in the trenches with WordPress. I think the answers are good and bad.

To start, it means more ads. I don’t mean display or text ads are going to start populating WordPress. Instead,  you are going to see an increase in the promotion of Automattic’s services and offerings in products like WooCommerce, product directories and more, putting their products in front of tens of millions of WordPress users, admins and developers.

You may have already seen this in action. This Spring, WooCommerce started pushing their plugins and add-ons as “recommended extensions,” and surprise, they’re all Automattic/WooCommerce owned ones. Abo

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