Apple is rumored to be considering a rather large investment in the popular social network, Twitter. The investment would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and could push Twitter from an $8.5 billion valuation to $10. Evelyn M. Rusli and Nick Bilton, writing for the The New York Times, report:
There is no guarantee that the two companies, which are not in negotiations at the moment, will come to an agreement. But the earlier talks are a sign that they may form a stronger partnership amid intensifying competition from the likes of Google and Facebook.
Never the less, the Times also reports that the Apple relationship is so important to Twitter, they've appointed a vice-president, Kevin Thau, to work with Apple full time. Twitter integration was brought to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 5 and increased with iOS 6, which also added Twitter to Notification, and added Facebook integration into the mix. Just this week Twitter also debuted on the Mac with OS X Mountain Lion update's deeper social media integration.
Given that level of integration, it only makes sense for Apple to explore a stake in Twitter. Apple traditionally doesn't like being dependent on technology it doesn't control. It only makes sense Apple would want influence over Twitter's direction -- especially if any competitor ever looked like they might be making a move towards a similar investment, or a buyout.
Likewise, Apple has proven less than adept at trying to spawn their own social media network, namely Ping and integrated a successful network like Ping could be a better strategy, just as Apple CEO, Tim Cook suggested during Apple's Q2 2012 earning call.
Apple doesn’t have to own a social network, but does Apple need to be social? Yes.
Apple's relationship with Facebook has been up and down over the years, though Facebook integration is coming to both OS X and iOS this fall. Google has been making a huge push into social with Google+, yet they also compete with Apple in smartphone and tablets, namely, Android.
Would a more intertwined Apple and Twitter be a good thing? It probably wouldn't prevent Twitter working with rival platforms any more than Microsoft's investment in Facebook prevents Facebook from working with Apple. With $117 billion in the bank, Apple wouldn't miss a few hundred million for Twitter. Would it make you feel more secure about Twitter features not going anywhere? Or should Apple keep trying to do their own social thing?
What do you guys think of Apple investing in Twitter? Are there certain social media features you'd like built deep into iOS that just aren't there yet?
UPDATE: Apple's talks with Twitter apparently occurred over a year ago, no talks are currently underway. That, according to Shira Ovide and Jessica E. Vascellaro at The Wall Street Journal and their "little birdies".
People close to Twitter have said the San Francisco company is ahead of 2012 revenue projections laid out last year. Twitter has largely ruled out acquisitions as it builds its business for a potential initial public offering in a year or so.