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What Would Apple Do With Twitter?

by Sachin Balagopalan on May 5, 2009 · Comments

No doubt there have been plenty of rumors, especially in the last year on Twitter is being acquired by someone or the other. Heck everybody wants them! After all it’s the hottest thing in Silicon Valley at the moment with over 25 million users and growing at the rate of 40% a week. But this latest one on Apple wanting to buy them does not make any sense at all. I hope that’s just what it is … a rumor. Unless Apple is contemplating a drastic shift in its overall strategy it does not make any sense for Apple to buy Twitter. The last time I checked Apple was a company that made cool products like the iPhone and computers. What are they going to do with a messaging/microblogging service? I don’t see it fitting anywhere and strengthening their core business.

According to BusinessWeek

Where’s the synergy, you ask?

Apple isn’t a particularly strong player on the Web — MobileMe is about the extent of it — and so Twitter would bring, among other things, a strong Web development team with a proven record for building successful products. Twitter founder Evan Williams has already sold one successful Web startup — Blogger.com — to Google.

But the real story is the iPhone. I don’t know if there are any statistics to back this up, but anecdotally I’ve noticed a lot of iPhone users tend also to be Twitter users. The Twitter client Tweetie is as of this morning ranked #32 on the list of top 100 paid iPhone applications. But the connections between the iPhone and Twitter go deeper than that.

Hmmm … I doubt it if the founders of Twitter are going to cash out just so they can build web apps for Apple! I can see Twitter being one of the core apps on the iPhone but they don’t have to spend $700 million for that! Just use the API :) . I’m not even sure the founders of Twitter want to cash out at this point. They are well aligned with their investors and are probably secure for the foreseeable future. It might bode well for them push it a little further and see how far they can take Twitter - which they won’t be able to do under Apple or Google.

Twitter should stay independent for their own sake. We all know what happens to good and innovative small companies when they get acquired by the goliaths!


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