Will Apple buy Twitter?

  • Posted: 09 June 2011 05:42 AM

    The tight integration of Twitter into iOS 5 is interesting. As discussed in Dan Benjamin’s recent podcasts with John Gruber and Horace Dediu, it is very unusual for Apple to integrate third party software into their own products. Whilst they currently have Google maps on their mobile devices, Apple are rumoured to be designing their own mapping system.
    Is there a deeper picture? Do Apple intend to buy Twitter in the near future? What happens if someone else buys them instead?
    Certainly Twitter is experiencing very fast growth rates, with about one billion tweets reportedly sent every six days. The chief executive recently stated that they have grown mobile usage by more than 150% since the beginning of the year. The number of advertisers on the site has grown from 150 to more than 600. Bearing in mind Apple’s mobile device strategy, it is interesting to read that more than 50% of US Twitter users access the service from a mobile device.
    Twitter have declined to confirm whether they are profitable. What economic value would be added to the Apple business model from buying Twitter?

         
  • Posted: 09 June 2011 09:45 AM #1

    http://www.businessinsider.com/jack-dorsey-apple-ceo-2011-6

    also interesting rumour….

         
  • Posted: 09 June 2011 09:47 AM #2

    Why would you buy a company you have already integrated tightly in your new Ios5 ? you have already your social integrated app in the iphone to counter Facebook why buy it ?

    It isn’t profitable i believe and it wouldn’t add a lot of value if bought , however cooperating and integrating in iOs 5 adds a good value on the platform , add to that the Icloud and you have a 5 year lead on the Ecosystem :D

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  • Posted: 09 June 2011 06:33 PM #3

    Luigitartaglino - 09 June 2011 12:47 PM

    Why would you buy a company you have already integrated tightly in your new Ios5 ?

    Agreed. Makes zero sense.

    EDIT: Apple is ALREADY getting everything they need from Twitter right now. Why would they want to pay big time money for that bag of hurt. Twitter may end up being great, but it’s going to have to go through a LOT of growing pains.

         
  • Posted: 10 June 2011 01:03 AM #4

    Buying Twitter wouldn’t fit Apple’s established acquisition strategy and the cost would be hard to justify in terms of return on the purchase price.

    There really isn’t a practical way to exploit Twitter in a way that significantly increase device unit shipments.

         
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    Posted: 10 June 2011 02:45 AM #5

    I agree that Apple will not and should not buy Twitter. But I don’t really understand this whole social “thing”. I understand iMessage and FaceTime, but that’s probably because I tend to interact with individuals instead of groups.

    In any case, this article seems to think the iOS Twitter integration is important. Maybe someone can translate or summarize.

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/09/twitter-ios/

         
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    Posted: 10 June 2011 02:52 AM #6

    Drew Bear - 10 June 2011 05:45 AM

    I agree that Apple will not and should not buy Twitter. But I don’t really understand this whole social “thing”. I understand iMessage and FaceTime, but that’s probably because I tend to interact with individuals instead of groups.

    In any case, this article seems to think the iOS Twitter integration is important. Maybe someone can translate or summarize.

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/09/twitter-ios/


    Drew, I agree with you on the social media thing. I don’t Facebook or twit. Tammy shows me her FB page sometimes and for the life of me I just don’t get it. Why in the world would anyone care what someone is doing while they are out to eat. I just don’t get it. Heck, I really don’t care about typing for the internet. Talking on the phone or in person are my preferred methods of conversation.

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    Posted: 10 June 2011 03:13 AM #7

    mbeauch - 10 June 2011 05:52 AM
    Drew Bear - 10 June 2011 05:45 AM

    I agree that Apple will not and should not buy Twitter. But I don’t really understand this whole social “thing”. I understand iMessage and FaceTime, but that’s probably because I tend to interact with individuals instead of groups.

    In any case, this article seems to think the iOS Twitter integration is important. Maybe someone can translate or summarize.

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/09/twitter-ios/


    Drew, I agree with you on the social media thing. I don’t Facebook or twit. Tammy shows me her FB page sometimes and for the life of me I just don’t get it. Why in the world would anyone care what someone is doing while they are out to eat. I just don’t get it. Heck, I really don’t care about typing for the internet. Talking on the phone or in person are my preferred methods of conversation.

    What? You mean to say that you don’t want instant updates on my quest to hire a second red-headed, junior analyst? Say it isn’t so!

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    Posted: 10 June 2011 03:40 AM #8

    mbeauch - 10 June 2011 05:52 AM

    Drew, I agree with you on the social media thing. I don’t Facebook or twit. Tammy shows me her FB page sometimes and for the life of me I just don’t get it. Why in the world would anyone care what someone is doing while they are out to eat. I just don’t get it.

    mbeauch, maybe we’re just a bunch of grumpy old farts. :-D I understand it’s very popular right now, but so was My Space a few years ago. Even if FB is able to avoid that fate and continue to grow, I’m not sure the monetization model can scale up as quickly. Twitter is even further behind in that respect.

    I think this collaboration with Twitter is good for Apple, especially if it helps sell more iOS devices. It will be interesting to see how developers actually make use of it to make their apps more appealing.

         
  • Posted: 10 June 2011 08:31 AM #9

    Drew Bear - 10 June 2011 05:45 AM

    I agree that Apple will not and should not buy Twitter. But I don’t really understand this whole social “thing”. I understand iMessage and FaceTime, but that’s probably because I tend to interact with individuals instead of groups.

    In any case, this article seems to think the iOS Twitter integration is important. Maybe someone can translate or summarize.

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/09/twitter-ios/

    Think of Twitter as a personalized feed of headlines (with links) for those areas that are of interest to you.  Start by following a national news organization, a local news organization, whoever has good coverage of your favorite sports team(s) and, of course, 1 or 2 sources of Apple news.  It won’t be long until you are hooked when you see how much time it saves you.  It is also indispensable for (real) breaking news.

         
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    Posted: 10 June 2011 12:33 PM #10

    Drew Bear - 10 June 2011 05:45 AM

    I agree that Apple will not and should not buy Twitter. But I don’t really understand this whole social “thing”. I understand iMessage and FaceTime, but that’s probably because I tend to interact with individuals instead of groups.

    I am on Facebook and find it fun, and a bit useful. Through it I have reconnected with some high school classmates, and people with whom I served with in the military way back when. We exchange movie and book reviews, share recipes and such. Like anything it can be good or bad, depends on how it is used. Anyone here on on Facebook and who wants to friend send me a private message.

    Interestingly I have a Twitter account, but almost never use it. Maybe I will revisit it.

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    Posted: 10 June 2011 12:40 PM #11

    What if Twitter gets bought by an unfriendly Apple competitor?  This is why I think Apple should not only buy Twitter, but also Netflix.

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    Posted: 10 June 2011 01:12 PM #12

    RedInAustin - 10 June 2011 11:31 AM

    Think of Twitter as a personalized feed of headlines (with links) for those areas that are of interest to you.  Start by following a national news organization, a local news organization, whoever has good coverage of your favorite sports team(s) and, of course, 1 or 2 sources of Apple news.  It won’t be long until you are hooked when you see how much time it saves you.  It is also indispensable for (real) breaking news.

    I’m using Twitter in a somewhat similar way. I only follow a handful of people/companies, but find it to be be quite useful.

    For example, I follow HostGator, which is the company that hosts several of my websites. If a site goes down due to a technical problem, I may temporarily lose my email, making it difficult to contact tech support. As a musician and audio engineer it is difficult to make a call while I’m working, but I can check my twitter feed and hostgator is tweeting whats wrong and how long before the server is back up. Very useful.

    I follow most of the manufacturers of key pieces of gear that we use, so I always know of software updates, etc.

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  • Posted: 10 June 2011 03:49 PM #13

    dlstarr7 - 10 June 2011 03:40 PM

    What if Twitter gets bought by an unfriendly Apple competitor?  This is why I think Apple should not only buy Twitter, but also Netflix.

    John Gruber was discussing this exact thing on “The Talk Show” Podcast. (For those who like Gruber, he spent the entire podcast discussing his thoughts on WWDC.) He suggested that Apple may have gotten some assurances from Twitter. Or even that there was an agreement between Apple and Twitter that Apple would have a right of first refusal in case of a third-patry acquisition attempt.

    The discussion settled on no firm answers but it raised some provocative questions.

         
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    Posted: 10 June 2011 03:51 PM #14

    [quote author=“Drew Bear” date=“1307702453

    mbeauch, maybe we’re just a bunch of grumpy old farts. :-D

    Who are you calling grumpy? tongue laugh

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  • Posted: 10 June 2011 04:30 PM #15

    I don’t see any reason for Apple to buy Twitter in near term. They have the functional relationship they want without the bother of management, and have a monetisation relationship with Twitter that works - it will help to sell iOS devices.

    Having an established company, like Apple, purchase a social media business risks negative blow back from the community of users - witness the sniping around the purchase of Skype by MS. Part of the appeal is its raw, edgy, nobody-owns-us freedom that attracts youth. Corporate ownership removes this pristine environment perception, more so for spaces like Twitter and Facebook, where corporations are often taken on.

    The social impact of Twitter cannot be over-stated. Currently it is perhaps the leading form of communication in the grass roots movement to destabilise governments and old-guard institutions. Globally, Twitter is huge, and Apple are a global company.

    I use Twitter stay abreast of current events of interest in real time, whether its about medicine and science, aerospace missions, Apple - related news, or just people I care about. It provides a real-time taking of the pulse. Facebook on the other hand, is quite different, and is really more of a social watering hole. That may have a lot to do with the mean age of Facebook users, which is lower than that for Twitter, which is more about info exchange.

    I see both platforms as works in evolution, which will grow foremost with this generation that has embraced them. Apple are right to integrate with Twitter, but would be unwise, at this stage, to buy it.

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