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Rumors surface of Apple showing interest in acquiring Twitter

post #1 of 152
Thread Starter 
A couple of popular tech blogs are reporting Tuesday that Apple may have some interest in acquiring Twitter in an all-cash deal, though neither publication is able to substantiate the rumors or outline a clear-cut strategy that would serve to motivate the iPhone maker into such a deal.

For those unaware, Twitter (AppleInsider Twitter feed) is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that lets users broadcast short messages of up to 140 characters -- known as tweets -- to other users who subscribe to their feeds, known as followers.

Twitter usage has skyrocket in recent months as celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have adopted the service as means of communicating with their fans. A variety of applications that let users tweet from their iPhones have also helped matters and emerged as some of the App Store's most popular downloads.

It's estimated that there are now approximately 25 million Twitter users worldwide, a figure which has been swelling at a rate of 40 percent each week ever since Oprah announced her plans last month to incorporate the service into her daily routine, says TechCrunch.

The technology blog was one of the publications to report Tuesday that Apple may be talks to acquire Twitter for $700 million in cash, citing "a normally reliable source" as saying that, “Apple is in late stage negotiations to buy Twitter and is hoping to announce it at WWDC in June."

Still, the publication immediately hedged its bets, explaining that it contacted other sources who would presumably be familiar with the matter if it was indeed materializing only to have them express no knowledge of such a situation.

"If these discussions are happening, Twitter is keeping them very quiet indeed," wrote TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, who added that he would have passed on reporting the dubious rumor entirely had it not begun to find its way onto other technology blogs.

Arrington was likely referring to a report that cropped up a few hours earlier over at rival tech blog ValleyWag, which cited a "source who's plugged into the Valley's deal scene and has been recruited by Apple for a senior position" as passing on similar, if not exactly the same, details.

In neither report, however, is there a compelling argument waged as to where an acquisition of Twitter would fit into Apple's strategy, though ValleyWag did give it a shot by claiming the deal would land Apple seasoned engineers in tune with modern Web culture.

Founded in 2006, Twitter has yet to devise a way to profit from its success and continues to run on solely on venture capital. After reportedly turning down a buyout offer from FaceBook north of half a billion, the company in January began pitching a $250 million valuation to venture capitalists in an effort to secure more cash and maintain its course.
post #2 of 152
I see no reason for Apple to invest or buy into such a tedious system.
post #3 of 152
I enjoy twittering, but fail to see how Apple could integrate it into their ecosystem. Perhaps as an option in the new Messages app on the iPhone?
post #4 of 152
Twitter seems to just be one of those things everyone else is into, but I have absolutely no interest in. Kind of like watching 24, or CSI or something, know what I mean?

So the purpose of twitter is to post a little comment about what you're doing or whatever, and everyone can read it and comment on it? Please correct me if I'm wrong here. Isn't that exactly what the "status" in facebook is?
post #5 of 152
post #6 of 152
Funnily enough I've already though about this privately for whatever reason. "I wonder if Apple is eyeing Twitter?" - I thought to myself. This is a gem this service. Apple could make it a cultural persuasion. Do what Google did for YouTube. And Apple likes simple. This news is extremely interesting to me, being that I'm in the process of setting up a (simple) Twitter-related service.

Twitter isn't a flash in the pan guys, everyone says that until they end up realizing the value in it, and in turn are using it. One great thing about it is everyone uses it differently. I use it rather than e-mail in some cases, quite a bit. When using it rather than e-mail it forces u to get to the heart of the matter, and it makes it quick for the person on the other end to get the point. And no, IM is not the same thing, it's different.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 152
Yeah, right. People may enjoy twittering and generally being techno twits, but how could this possibly fit into the Apple landscape?
post #8 of 152
A waste of time- bloatware= twitter.
post #9 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by iStink View Post

Please correct me if I'm wrong here. Isn't that exactly what the "status" in facebook is?

Nothing more annoying when some indulgent twit occupies my whole Facebook page letting me and the rest of their 6000 close friends know that they just arrived at the airport, bought a latte or whatever else totally boring thing they just did.
post #10 of 152
How do you send a message from an iPhone to a Mac user? You can send an e-mail, but that requires more writing (a subject, etc.).

There is no good platform that integrates the Internet with the phone network for short messages. Chat is not the same; you need to open a chat window for each person you want to receive messages from, and you usually converse briefly with them.

A "short message e-mail" system with integration with phone network SMS and broadcast capability could (I emphasize could) make sense for Apple and it's iPhone system. It does seem like a smallish niche, but maybe not.

By the way, I'm not a Twitter user either and it does seem kind of pointless on its own. People apparently get bored with it and drop out at high rates. It does feel like a fad. We'll see.
post #11 of 152
Everybody, here's my take on the potential merger between Apple and Twitter:

http://thequantumbyte.com/2009/05/ru...r-700-million/

Does anyone agree with my opinions? Let me know!

For those who may accuse me of advertising for my blog, here are my opinions:

"This should be an interesting deal, if it were to go down. Sure, this may just be a result of chinese whispers, but come to think of it, Apple has been expressing its Twitter-philia with its recent business profile case study. Without doubt, Apple and Twitter are just about the two most ‘innovative’ and ‘fun’ tech companies out there, and thus Twitter’s acquisition would add much value to Apple in the micro-blogging/blogging market. I’m a huge Apple fan, but I must say, I don’t particularly fancy the sound of this. I love Twitter the way it is: fun, young and almost ‘innocent’ and ‘humble’; it being run by a small group of tech enthusiasts. Once Apple takes over, bureaucracy will set in, and the free service will become massively commercialized. I somehow get the feeling if these rumors are remotely true, Apple would undoubtedly be planning to add this to its MobileMe service, or something of the like; and that would be a terrible, terrible thing to happen!

Unless Apple can stay true to its customers and have Twitter’s loyal users’ best interests at heart, and make Twitter better instead of commercializing it, the already highly debated (love it or hate it!) micro-blogging service will see its fall. I highly doubt Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone would want to see that happen, for just $700 million."
post #12 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

How do you send a message from an iPhone to a Mac user? You can send an e-mail, but that requires more writing (a subject, etc.).

There is no good platform that integrates the Internet with the phone network for short messages. Chat is not the same; you need to open a chat window for each person you want to receive messages from, and you usually converse briefly with them.

A "short message e-mail" system with integration with phone network SMS and broadcast capability could (I emphasize could) make sense for Apple and it's iPhone system. It does seem like a smallish niche, but maybe not.

By the way, I'm not a Twitter user either and it does seem kind of pointless on its own. People apparently get bored with it and drop out at high rates. It does feel like a fad. We'll see.

DOn't worry - you'll get MMS texting like the rest of the world next month. Very easy and simple to use. Much better than twitter.
post #13 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaaclimdc View Post

Everybody, here's my take on the potential merger between Apple and Twitter:

http://thequantumbyte.com/2009/05/ru...r-700-million/

Does anyone agree with my opinions? Let me know!

If you have an opinion, state it here. Or Tweet it if you need the world to know.
post #14 of 152
All time dumbest tech mergers and acquisitions

3. Ebay + Skype
2. AOL + Time Warner
1. Apple + Twitter

I'm shocked that Twitter has any market value at all. Twitter is the pet-rock fad of the 2000's that will soon disappear. It has no way of making significant revenue and it never will. If you use twitter, get a life.
post #15 of 152
I know a lot of people need to twit Lindsay Lohan's twat exposure.
post #16 of 152
Some could argue it would be like one phone-maker acquiring ownership of SMS, keeping it open, but having control over it. There's a million possible good reasons for this deal, all you need to do is use your imagination. Think (different) for yourself?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Nothing more annoying when some indulgent twit occupies my whole Facebook page letting me and the rest of their 6000 close friends know that they just arrived at the airport, bought a latte or whatever else totally boring thing they just did.

And doing exactly that via Twitter is superior... how?
For the Twits out there (very appropriate verbiage, btw), PLEASE educate me. I'm only being half sarcastic there. I need to have someone who ostensibly understands this service explain its value to me.
post #18 of 152
Apple users already have all the functionality of Twitter without having to buy the company. Can't imagine why Apple would need to buy Twitter. Doesn't make any sense. Why take on a (financially) slowly sinking ship? That is, unless Apple is going to create a subscription model for it. Maybe Apple is looking for an exclusive deal to integrate Twitter on AppleTV?
post #19 of 152
Ask the question why? And try to come up with a real answer. It provokes interesting thoughts, well at least in me it does. Just think for a second, why? (and leave out doubt). Why? There are possible reasons, quite a few. Think.

Or ask the question, why would Google want to buy Twitter?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 152
Naaah... I don't see it happening, besides CNN owns 20% of Twitter already.
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post #21 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

How do you send a message from an iPhone to a Mac user? You can send an e-mail, but that requires more writing (a subject, etc.).

There is no good platform that integrates the Internet with the phone network for short messages. Chat is not the same; you need to open a chat window for each person you want to receive messages from, and you usually converse briefly with them.

A "short message e-mail" system with integration with phone network SMS and broadcast capability could (I emphasize could) make sense for Apple and it's iPhone system. It does seem like a smallish niche, but maybe not. ...

This is rather brilliant. I thought about this for half an hour and couldn't see a reason for Apple to buy Twitter, but this is quite plausible IMO.

It still doesn't mean that Twitter will ever make any money or that Apple is considering buying them, but at least it's a good reason why they might.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #22 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Ask the question why? And try to come up with a real answer. It provokes interesting thoughts, well at least in me it does. Just think for a second, why? (and leave out doubt). Why? There are possible reasons, quite a few. Think.

Or ask the question, why would Google want to buy Twitter?

Agreed. Anyone who just says, "I don't see the point," Is either being short-sighted or vain. Just because you can't think of the use doesn't mean nobody can.

I can see it getting wrapped into applications like iTunes and iPhoto. Share your playing song, share photos. Like others said, part of MMS on the iPhone. Part something we don't know about yet...
post #23 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

And doing exactly that via Twitter is superior... how?
For the Twits out there (very appropriate verbiage, btw), PLEASE educate me. I'm only being half sarcastic there. I need to have someone who ostensibly understands this service explain its value to me.

I feel the same about Facebook, yet you find it useful. Point is, these things are subjective. Whether its worth $700 million is another matter.
post #24 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Agreed. Anyone who just says, "I don't see the point," Is either being short-sighted or vain. Just because you can't think of the use doesn't mean nobody can.

I can see it getting wrapped into applications like iTunes and iPhoto. Share your playing song, share photos. Like others said, part of MMS on the iPhone. Part something we don't know about yet...

Just because you don't see the value in it means you must be short sighted or vain? What about option 3 - that you don't see the value in it because there isn't any value in it? Oh no, that's not possible huh?

BTW your vision of twitter wrapped into those apps sounds like my idea of hell. Why the hell do I want to know what's going on in everyone else's life all the time?
post #25 of 152
This is what people were saying when Facebook was not know to anyone and now look at it. Took over myspace and other social networks.
If Apple wants to buy it means they have good reason. Maybe they see something in Twitter that others don't.

Twitter is very up to Apple's style. Apple loves simplicity. Twitter is just that.
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #26 of 152
facebook = ppl you already know
twitter = meeting new ppl who are into the same things as you

of ~600 followers and 700 ppl i follow I maybe personally know 10 of them.

twitter is a great source for getting news and updates.. (i found this story via twitter) I barely use twitter for communicating with friends, but more for the tweets from tech blogs and news sites etc.. i hardly get or follow ppl that post "just got a late in the airport" LOL

anyway - with one tweet you can push messages to ppl on phones via SMS, email or web/pc/mac all from the same client, i dont have time to visit every teck blog, news site or other sites i visit, twitter allows me to get all the headlines in one place and not from separate feeds in a rss reader. this to me is VERY useful. whats also cool is that i can reply or forward/retweet these tweets..

Apple clearly would have some idea how to capitalize on this if they are looking to acquire. cause 700m is allot for a free value added service.

unfortunately if Apple buys twitter, they may want to charge for subscriptions to the service or something.. which would suck
post #27 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Naaah... I don't see it happening, besides CNN owns 20% of Twitter already.

Well then, Apple will buy CNN too. Ohh wait, it's already owned by US Government. Darn...
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #28 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Just because you don't see the value in it means you must be short sighted or vain? What about option 3 - that you don't see the value in it because there isn't any value in it? Oh no, that's not possible huh?

BTW your vision of twitter wrapped into those apps sounds like my idea of hell. Why the hell do I want to know what's going on in everyone else's life all the time?

Option 3 is possible, but it's a far less likely scenario. I stick to what you quoted me on. If everyone had a knee-jerk reaction that everything sucks nothing would evolve. It sounds like the guy who thought everything had been invented already.

Maybe I could have worded it better: If you refuse to acknowledge that it might have potential you're short-sighted. Or vain. To just shut it down upon reading this article? I wouldn't want to think that way.
post #29 of 152
The only way I can see this making sense is if they think its value will increase and they can sell it for a profit, as they did with their position in Akamai a few years back. But it seems extremely unlikely.
post #30 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaaclimdc View Post

Unless Apple can stay true to its customers and have Twitters loyal users best interests at heart, and make Twitter better instead of commercializing it, the already highly debated (love it or hate it!) micro-blogging service will see its fall. I highly doubt Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone would want to see that happen, for just $700 million."

Wow. Just wow. Would 3 (I assume young) guys sell their young, unprofitable business for "just" $700 MILLION DOLLARS? Can you even imagine being in their shoes? If someone offered you twice your current salary for a new job, would you be able to turn it down? I think it would be really hard NOT to "sell out" (which is not what they being asked to do in any case) for close a BILLION dollars. Get real. As others have said Twitter could be worthless in a few year (or hugely successful), so it's not like cashing out would be crazy.
post #31 of 152
If they were going to do that (haha no), they may as well buy up TinyURL, Meebo and maybe 4chan for good measure. It would make about as much sense to their business.
post #32 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


...BTW your vision of twitter wrapped into those apps sounds like my idea of hell. Why the hell do I want to know what's going on in everyone else's life all the time?

So because of your stance nobody should make apps for people who DO want to know what's going in each other's lives? Clearly there's a market for that kind of thing. I don't use Facebook, but I think some people do.
post #33 of 152
Thank God some people here agree with me as to the boringness of Twitter. I think it has its purpose, but telling me whatever mundane task you are up to is something I care nothing about and I have to see that crap to get to the good stuff (that rarely exists in Twitter). I'd rather use email, IM, Facebook, blogs, or any of the other established methods of online communication.

I don't mean to be insulting, but I think one must be really bored to bust out their iPhone and send out a Twitter to all their friends telling them something like "This coffee is really doing the trick" - an actual tweet I once received. Why is there so much tweeting about coffee? I mean, who the F*@# cares? If that's your thing, then cool, but it isn't for me. And yes, I have tried it for a while... and yes, this is just my opinion.

Needless to say, I hope Apple doesn't waste their resources on Twitter. We all know they love it, though. They describe it as a "Triumph of Humanity" on the Apple website.... please.
post #34 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

Thank God some people here agree with me as to the boringness of Twitter. I think it has its purpose, but telling me whatever mundane task you are up to is something I care nothing about and I have to see that crap to get to the good stuff (that rarely exists in Twitter). I'd rather use email, IM, Facebook, blogs, or any of the other established methods of online communication.....

If Apple just wanted to use Twitter as it is they wouldn't need to buy it. I assume they'd be making some major changes over time.

While I don't think Twitter is as exciting as many other people do - it could evolve into something else. Apple applications could act as a front-end to Twitter distribution of media content. It might be easier for some to understand than RSS. I'm surprised at how many Internet junkies no nothing about RSS, but they know what Twitter is.
post #35 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Wow. Just wow. Would 3 (I assume young) guys sell their young, unprofitable business for "just" $700 MILLION DOLLARS? Can you even imagine being in their shoes? If someone offered you twice your current salary for a new job, would you be able to turn it down? I think it would be really hard NOT to "sell out" (which is not what they being asked to do in any case) for close a BILLION dollars. Get real. As others have said Twitter could be worthless in a few year (or hugely successful), so it's not like cashing out would be crazy.

Yes, it is A LOT of money, but these three guys are quite inspirational people, and I dunno, I would think that they treasure Twitter a heck a lot. That's why Jack Dorsey turned it down from Google's $500 million, I believe is the sum.
post #36 of 152
been using twitter on and off for a year

as it is the service is completely unusable after you follow 200-300 people. i had to create several accounts to organize things. one is for news tweets from CNN, LA Times, NY Times, etc. one if for sports, one for celebs and VIPs, one for tech news and one for my own use and for regular people

i use ubertwitter on my blackeberry for my news account. it runs in the background and caches the tweets for me to read on the train to/from work. big battery hog as well, the Apple guys weren't kidding when they said background apps suck the battery dry.

the others i read on the website or via tweetdeck or seesmic

Last year twitter would crash several times a day, but after they moved to Amazon's cloud computing platform it seems a lot better.

i don't know about the kindle, but twitter is a killer news delivery service. a lot of organizations also use it for business. i noticed that almost every chamber of commerce in the US is on twitter and uses it to communicate and send out messages
post #37 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Agreed. Anyone who just says, "I don't see the point," Is either being short-sighted or vain. Just because you can't think of the use doesn't mean nobody can.

I can see it getting wrapped into applications like iTunes and iPhoto. Share your playing song, share photos. Like others said, part of MMS on the iPhone. Part something we don't know about yet...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitter.com

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

So Twitter defines itself as a way to broadcast to friends, family and co-workers "What you're doing".

I can see how this could serve many uses for Apple.
1) As walshbj mentioned itunes status..."Ben just purchased Blah Blah Blah by That Band"
2) iPhone Gaming..."Ben is playing Crash Bandicoot Racing. Click here to race."
3) On the desktop, I could see this being integrated into iChat.
4) On the iPhone I could see Apple including a basic Twitter client and incorporating status updates into almost all of their apps.
5) On the web it could be branded as part of MobileMe
6) WWDC: Apple Push Notification Service = Twitter

On the whole of it, I think Twitter makes more sense for Google and integration with gmail and their forthcoming GrandCentral tech.
post #38 of 152
Will this be befrore or after Apple buys TiVo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Nothing more annoying when some indulgent twit occupies my whole Facebook page letting me and the rest of their 6000 close friends know that they just arrived at the airport, bought a latte or whatever else totally boring thing they just did.

Agreed. The only "friends" I've blacklisted on Facebook (so I don't have to read their status updates) are those who update their status 20 times a day.

All Facebook would need to do (assuming they don't just buy Twitter themselves) is simply add a new feature to your Home page to allow you to select those friends, and groups you are fans of, and get their status updates sent to your phone/email instead of getting the updates for everyone on your Home page. You could create a friends/fans list as a subset of your overall friends list and tell Facebook to send just those status updates.

Or, since many people are already on Facebook already, just give them better filtering cababilities on their Home page. Both Facebook and Twitter are losing money currently. I don't see both being independently viable. There is too much overlap between their service and not enough ad revenue to go around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

How do you send a message from an iPhone to a Mac user? You can send an e-mail, but that requires more writing (a subject, etc.).

There is no good platform that integrates the Internet with the phone network for short messages. Chat is not the same; you need to open a chat window for each person you want to receive messages from, and you usually converse briefly with them.

A "short message e-mail" system with integration with phone network SMS and broadcast capability could (I emphasize could) make sense for Apple and it's iPhone system. It does seem like a smallish niche, but maybe not.

By the way, I'm not a Twitter user either and it does seem kind of pointless on its own. People apparently get bored with it and drop out at high rates. It does feel like a fad. We'll see.

Well, let's see... you could send an email with just a subject line and no body. There is your short message email system. Also, you can easily send an SMS to an email account and send an email to a phone as an SMS. That would be missing the broadcast capability (similar to what Facebook already has), but maybe something based on RSS? Or you could just base it on email and provide an online service to manage your subscriptions (ie, add yourself to other people's group email distribution lists).

I fail to see how Twitter is nothing more than a very slight twist on services which are already available (email, Facebook, RSS feeds, etc). Why do we need another proprietary system. What we need is someone to better organize/integrate existing services which are based on existing standards.

Hmmm, sounds like a job for Apple. But they certainly don't need to buy Twitter to do it.
post #39 of 152
there is no reason at all to buy twitter. not for apple, at any rate. some stock manipulator is feeding the rumors.
post #40 of 152
Not gonna happen. Get real, people. $700m, or more? Please. Let's see some semblance of a profitable business model come from Twitter, then we'll talk acquisition. Apple has better things to do with their cash, such as buying semicondcutor companies and the like. Not unproven "micro-blogging" sites. Let's get a reliable source for these rumors too - the tech blogosphere does not count.
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