There was a collective gasp among many indie email newsletter writers (and some indie email readers) this week when an Inc headline circulated, reporting that MailChimp would “phase out its popular TinyLetter email service.”
The article itself was not clear about what that meant. It stated that “TinyLetter’s days as a standalone entity are numbered,” based on an October interview with MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut, without any details or timeline. It also suggested there might be “potential headaches when MailChimp swallows up TinyLetter.”
Now Chestnut has emailed TinyLetter authors to say: The company has no plans to make changes to TinyLetter this year.
It’s not clear from this email if this is a reversal of plans — based on “premature eulogies” for TinyLetter — or if it’s just a clarification, adding more details to what Inc reported. I’ve asked for comment.
But either way, Chestnut writes: “We have no plans to make changes to TinyLetter in 2018. And we’ll let you know what to expect before we make any changes in the future.”
“In the long term,” Chestnut writes, “we do intend to integrate TinyLetter into MailChimp. Doing this will better enable us to support the product and its users. But we’re taking it slow because we want to get it right.”
As for the timing of that combination, he promised “you’ll hear it from us first” (we’ll see!) and that the company plans to “make it as seamless as possible” (we’ll see!).
TinyLetter, which MailChimp acquired in 2011, is a free and simple way to send an email newsletter. MailChimp is more complex and is designed for publishers and commerce companies to send bulk email.
Here’s the full text of Chestnut’s email:
My name is Ben Chestnut and I’m the co-founder and CEO of MailChimp, the company behind TinyLetter.
I recently mentioned that TinyLetter would eventually become part of MailChimp instead of a stand-alone product. I wanted to write you directly about what we do—and don’t—have planned to address some of the premature eulogies and questions we’ve seen.
We have no plans to make changes to TinyLetter in 2018. And we’ll let you know what to expect before we make any changes in the future.
In the long term, we do intend to integrate TinyLetter into MailChimp. Doing this will better enable us to support the product and its users. But we’re taking it slow because we want to get it right.
MailChimp acquired TinyLetter in 2011 and relaunched it in 2014. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed watching it take on a life of its own. We know you feel strongly about the messages you send through TinyLetter, the relationships you have with your readers, and the experience of using the platform. Many of you feel a deep, personal connection with it—and we don’t take that lightly. We’ve always said that TinyLetter is for people what MailChimp is for businesses. That’s still true, and any changes will bear it in mind.
When we have a roadmap for the integration, you’ll hear it from us first, well in advance. We’ll make it as seamless as possible, and you won’t lose your subscriber list or your archives.
In the meantime, TinyLetter isn’t going anywhere.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.