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Conde Nast Acquires U.K. Digital Publishing Startup Founded by Ex-Twitter Engineer

Condé Nast has acquired Poetica, a London-based startup that has developed a real-time content editing system, which was co-founded by former lead Twitter engineer Blaine Cook.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Condé Nast said Poetica’s product, as well as its engineering and design team, will help it “seamlessly and quickly” deliver content to audiences across multiple platforms. The Poetica system will be integrated into Condé Nast’s proprietary content management platform, copilot, and its employees will remain based in London.

“We started with our proprietary content platform system, copilot, and with the addition of Poetica, we significantly advance our mission of providing our edit teams the enhanced ability to collaborate on content creation in real time, on any device,” Fred Santarpia, executive VP and chief digital officer of Condé Nast, said in announcing the pact.

Poetica, founded in 2012, lets editorial teams collaborate on content in real time a la Google Docs. The company’s system uses a unique approach to version control, so creators can better track inline annotations and suggested edits.

Poetica is headed by CEO Anna Maybank, former co-founder of accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures; CTO Blaine Cook, founding engineer of Twitter who co-authored the OAuth authentication specification; and chief product officer James Weiner (formerly of the U.K.’s Government Digital Service).

“In Condé Nast, we’ve found the perfect partner to bring Poetica’s technology to the best content creators in the world,” Maybank said in a statement. “As a team, we’re excited to be at the heart of one of the world’s greatest publishing companies as it develops new ways to produce top-quality content for the Web.”

Condé Nast, like other traditional publishing companies, has been steadily expanding its digital footprint in the past few years to extend existing brands like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, GQ, Wired and the New Yorker. The company also has acquired online properties like music site Pitchfork. Its newest division, Condé Nast Entertainment, was launched in 2011 to develop film, television and premium digital video programming.

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